The Role of a Marine Coordinator in Offshore Wind Farms
A marine coordinator working on an offshore wind farm is at the behest of the weather on a daily basis. No two days are the same and as there are so many variables in play, from the operation to the wind turbines, to the wind, weather, personnel on site and vessels in motion in the surrounding areas, it is a job that requires dedication, accuracy and focus.
For offshore wind farms the idea is that the turbines are running as often as possible in order to continue supplying homes in Britain with renewable energy. It isn’t a 9-5 job in the traditional sense and for any offshore wind farm you’ll find a team of marine coordinators working in shifts to help manage and coordinate the traffic of vessels running between the nearest port and the offshore wind farm they are in charge of organising. Vessels that are tracked are used for a variety of purposes, from carrying crew members to work on the turbines, equipment to help with the operation of the turbines, as well as equipment to conduct repairs and maintenance on the entirety of the offshore wind farm.
The marine coordination team will be in a control room that houses large screens with live feeds from the offshore wind farm itself. Having use of the latest technologies in marine coordination systems helps the team to have more control over all issues, and to never be left stranded. Screens will highlight the height of the waves, wind speeds, visibility and temperature for the next few days, all with the intention of providing the marine coordinator with all the data and analysis he or she needs to keep people safe in the area.
For many vessels looking to travel between the offshore wind farm and the nearest port, they are waiting for the go ahead from the marine coordinator. There are a number of reasons why a marine coordinator on an offshore wind farm could prevent a vessel from travelling out to the site. This could be high winds, high waves or low visibility. This can often lead to days at a time where no vessels can travel, but safety is paramount.
For those who own or manage an offshore wind farm, putting in place an accurate and high tech system that provides marine coordinators with the tools to perform their job role effectively is paramount. A high standard marine management system will be able to integrate the latest weather and tide reports, vessel and asset tracking, personnel tracking and to access control systems that provide the safety for those crew members situated on the wind turbines and travelling back and forth on vessels to the mainland.