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ABS Group Assesses Offshore Wind Safety Procedures for BSEE

Read how ABS Group identified and prioritized offshore wind farm inspection procedures based on current domestic and international regulations and practices.

Project Profile

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will be exercising authority granted to it by the Secretary of the Interior to ensure operations of offshore wind farms are conducted in a safe and environmentally sound manner similar to offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production operations. BSEE needed to understand the elements and activities related to wind energy resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to ensure safe and prudent development of OCS wind energy resources on a caliber similar to OCS mineral resources.

ABS Group's Government team was selected to lead a safety and risk assessment to (1) evaluate offshore wind safety procedures and examine all existing state, national and international regulations and standards related to offshore wind farms and wind turbine inspections; (2) examine major safety and environmental concerns for offshore wind farm operations; and (3) identify critical structures and components for wind inspection procedures. This comprehensive assessment provided BSEE with valuable information to aid the development of U.S. regulations and inspection procedures for offshore wind energy installations.

Client Needs
  • Identify risks for emergent scenario
  • Need to ensure safety of industry and government workers during offshore wind activities
  • Need to understand all existing state, national and international regulations and standards related to offshore wind farms and turbine inspection procedures

 

Project Objectives

Our Solution

Analyze Existing Offshore Wind Regulations and Standards

To assess offshore wind energy procedures, ABS Group gathered applicable regulations and standards related to wind energy installations from around the world. Our team assessed and analyzed regulations and standards related to the OCS and wind farms from various international agencies, including those in the U.K., Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, and Japan. We also reviewed the best practices currently being used in the offshore wind industry and relevant practices from both the offshore oil and gas industry and offshore wind industry. Additionally, we examined how various events and accidents are identified, reported and addressed by domestic agencies, international agencies and other organizations such as classification societies.

Examine Safety, Risk and Environmental Concerns

Our team also identified the major safety and environmental concerns that were addressed in these existing regulations. We explored various elements of these concerns and conducted a risk assessment for all OCS wind activities, reporting, monitoring, inspection programs and methods. Finally, our team provided BSEE with recommendations to reduce the risk of major safety and environmental concerns in regards to the agency's regulatory and inspection role for offshore wind energy and installations.

Recommend a Risk Based Approach to Offshore Wind Inspection

By analyzing the information gathered in the previous steps, we were able to provide BSEE with detailed potential approaches for the regulatory and inspection processes of offshore wind farms. This included the logistics of conducting the inspections as well as the training BSEE inspectors will need to undertake in order to verify the safety and reliability of offshore wind turbines. Additionally, our analysis provided details on the approaches and risks that would come from the utilization and acceptance of third-party inspections.


Value Delivered

Guidance for Offshore Wind Energy Regulations and Standards

From this safety and risk assessment, the agency gained detailed guidance on best practices, emerging technologies and activities that would help mitigate risks related to an emergent scenario.

Our Government team connected many of the activities that will become part of BSEE's offshore wind energy procedures with existing inspection and training standards from current installations around the world. Because we identified and analyzed these previously tested measures, BSEE will be able to incorporate new offshore wind regulation and inspection procedures in the U.S. with increased confidence.

Learn more about our Safety, Risk and Compliance and Technical Inspection and Verification service lines.

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