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.
The US 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 US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to ensure safe and prudent development of OCS wind energy resources on a caliber similar to OCS mineral resources.
- Emergent scenario
- Need to ensure safety of industry and government workers during OCS activities
- Need to understand regulatory and inspection procedures
Examine all existing state, national, and international regulations and standards related to offshore and onshore wind farms and wind turbine inspections
Examine major safety and environmental concerns for offshore wind farm operation
Identify critical structures and components to inspect
Identify approaches to offshore wind farm regulation and inspection
Analyze existing 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 UK, 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 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.
Provide approaches to offshore wind farm regulation and 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 the BSEE inspectors will need to undertake related to 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.
We delivered a comprehensive assessment to aid BSEE in developing future regulations and inspection procedures for offshore wind energy installations. The agency gained detailed guidance on best practices, emerging technologies and activities that would help mitigate risks related to an emergent scenario.
Association to existing OCS activities
Our 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 with a minimal learning curve compared to if previously unfamiliar methods were employed.