FREDERICIA, Denmark — Ørsted has started deploying autonomous drones to transport cargo to offshore wind turbines, starting with the Hornsea 1 wind farm in the UK southern North Sea.
The company is trialling the 58-kg drones, which have a wingspan of 2.6 m, to carry cargo weighing up to 68 kg.
Use of drones means less work disturbance, the company claims, as turbines do not have to be shut down when the cargo is delivered. They can also minimize the need for multiple voyages onboard ships, cutting carbon emissions.
Instead, the drones will be operated from existing crew transfer and service operating vessels that are already on site.
Ørsted has previously used smaller drones with much lighter loads.
In a separate development, the company has secured a 1.6-GW electricity business license from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of South Korea for an offshore wind project 70 km from the coast of Incheon City. It gives Ørsted exclusive development rights for the gigawatt-scale Incheon offshore wind project, set to be the country’s largest to date.