ScottishPower Renewables has teamed up with Jet Engineering to explore the potential deployment of a 5G mobile network at sea for the construction of its East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm
JET’s in-house developed 5G buoy platforms provide resilient communications and stream environmental data such as live sea state and weather information from miles offshore
JET Engineering System Solutions has recently been awarded a contract by ScottishPower Renewables to explore the potential deployment of a 5G mobile network at sea for the construction of its East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm.
The feasibility study is a first step towards bringing fast, reliable connectivity and real-time environmental data to ScottishPower’s windfarms.
Offshore windfarms have a vital role to play in ensuring more green electricity is made in the UK for the UK as the government aims to generate 50 gigawatts (GW) of the UK's electricity from offshore wind by the end of 2030.
Behind the scenes of each project are hundreds of people working at sea over a number of years through development, construction and operations – all of whom need to communicate and engage with each other as well as colleagues back onshore.
JET’s in-house developed 5G systems could make that easier than ever thanks to their fast connectivity, which also supports the live-streaming of data from the ocean across its secure networks instantly to analysts on shore. This means mobile connectivity – as well as weather, sea state, environmental, and video feeds – are available in real time with the only trip out needed to deploy the network of buoys hosting the systems, saving time and money.
The feasibility study with ScottishPower Renewables will focus on the construction of East Anglia THREE, with the findings also being considered for the operational phase.
JET’s previous work has included deploying the world’s first floating 700MHz offshore standalone 5G connection in 2020, followed by raw 4K subsurface video streaming over 5G and the launch of a floating 5G base station earlier this year. It has also won the Defence Team Information Innovation Award 2022 and been awarded Offshore Wind Growth Partnership funding, as well as places on the Net Zero Technology Centre’s TechX Clean Energy Accelerator programme and ORE Catapult’s Launch Academy.
James Thomas, CEO at JET, commented: “We are incredibly excited to be formally working with ScottishPower Renewables to bring our solution to the offshore wind market. We met the team in 2021 and they have been instrumental in our market research so far.
“This partnership is our next step towards our network deployment goals and we are looking forward to seeing our systems bring some real benefit to those working offshore. In addition, not only are we able to provide connectivity that is currently unobtainable, but by providing accurate wind and rain maps surrounding the wind farm we will be able to inform decisions on the best time to activate turbines to increase asset life and maximise utilisation.”
Andrew Blair, Lead Telecoms Engineer at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We’re pleased to be working with JET on East Anglia THREE to explore what this new technology could do for our windfarms and how it could improve our communications and connectivity.
“Having quick and easy access to data and a reliable communications network will help ensure we can progress the construction of our biggest offshore windfarm at pace and get our turbines turning as quickly as possible to produce enough green electricity to power more than one million homes.”