The European offshore wind farm industry is booming. In 2015, 3,10MW of grid-connected capacity was added, 108% more than in the last 10 years! With this growth comes a need for evolution in service vessels that support the industry. Energy storage technology is a major part of the current evolution of the maritime industry; hybrid and fully electric systems have successfully been installed on a variety of commercial vessels including ferries, offshore support vessels, fish boats, and tugboats. While environmental regulations have helped to create demand for this sustainable technology, the primary market driver is increased safety and reliability of the vessels and a significant decrease in operational and fuel costs.
Rough weather and high waves often characterize the working environment for people and equipment during the installation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms. This means that wind farm services vessels have extraordinary requirements for immediate power, endurance, robustness and safety in order to maintain their operational duties in all weather. A service vessel requires powerful bollard pull capabilities, and in general excellent sea keeping abilities to withstand wind, waves and currents. In these demanding environments, human safety as well as operational expenditures are of key concern, thus service vessels must be built to the highest standards.