Offshore wind

Newly Formed Renewables Alliance Aims To Deliver Supply Chain, Cost Efficiencies

The Windstaller Alliance will combine the capabilities of three global service providers to offer product deliveries, fabrication services, marine and subsea operations, and associated engineering services to renewable energy developers and operators.

Solstad Offshore Vessel Normand Clipper
The Normand Clipper is one of Solstad's 90 vessels.
Solstad Offshore ASA

Offshore energy suppliers Aker Solutions ASA, DeepOcean Norway AS, and Solstad Offshore ASA have created Windstaller Alliance. The new partnership aims to provide cost-efficient and complete product supply, fabrication, and marine services within the offshore wind industry and other offshore renewables.

Windstaller Alliance will combine the capabilities and expertise of the companies to offer product deliveries, fabrication services, marine and subsea operations, and associated engineering services to renewable energy developers and operators.

“Today’s supply chain for the offshore renewables market is highly fragmented and, in our view, suboptimal in terms of efficiency, cost, risk, and environmental footprint. Windstaller Alliance is able to take an integrated approach where appropriate, while unlocking value for both operators and suppliers, at the same time reducing the total carbon footprint of offshore renewable projects,” said Guro Høyaas Løken, head of the Windstaller Alliance.

The alliance aims to cut the number of supplier interfaces, thereby reducing technical and commercial project risk and execution time through the integration of services, project management, and maritime asset utilization.

Aker Solutions and DeepOcean will provide product, fabrication, and marine services related engineering and project management capabilities. Aker Solutions has more than 15,000 employees and expertise within complex fabrication of substructures for wind turbines, including four state-of-the-art yards and a broad product offering within subsea and topside equipment. DeepOcean adds experience in offshore renewables, including trenchers and cable repair spreads. It brings to the alliance specialized subsea installation and service solutions through 900 employees and more than 50 ROVs (remotely operated vehicles). Solstad Offshore, which has supported offshore wind farm installations, operations, and maintenance since 2009, contributes more than 3,600 employees and a fleet of 90 vessels.

The alliance members will jointly identify market opportunities and agree on a case-by-case basis which prospects and solutions to pursue. The execution scope and cooperation model on a specific project will be set up based on client preferences and market conditions.

In the preparatory phase for marine operations of offshore renewables projects, Windstaller will deliver engineering services and subsea survey, inspection, and site preparation services. It may also provide product deliveries such as subsea technologies plus fabrication of substructures carrying wind turbines, and yard services such as logistics, site management, and crane operations. In the installation phase, it can provide trenching and interarray cable-lay services and conduct towing, mooring, hookup, and commissioning operations. During the operations phase, the alliance will offer life-of-field inspection, maintenance, and repair services; commissioning, service, and operations vessels; and maintenance, modification, and operations support for offshore structures.

Windstaller has also outlined a commitment to reach a zero-emissions target. Aker Solutions, DeepOcean, and Solstad Offshore have all announced targets to cut emissions by 45–50% by 2030.

A third of DeepOcean’s fleet is aimed to be on hybrid power by 2022, and the company is considering a pilot upgrade to hydrogen fuel cells. Solstad Offshore’s fleet currently has 15 vessels on battery or shore power, and the company expects to upgrade 30% of its 90-strong vessel fleet to hybrid solutions by 2025. Aker Solutions aims to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Windstaller will be a nonincorporated, asset-light alliance, with no joint ownership or liabilities for vessels or other assets, except for specifically agreed projects.