Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

WNI targets offshore wind as uptime climbs agenda

Article-WNI targets offshore wind as uptime climbs agenda

Photo: WNI Jesse_Vecchione_NB[91].jpg
Weathernews Inc (WNI) has launched a new drive to develop more business in the rapidly expanding offshore wind sector.

The company has identified the requirement to maximise uptime of expensive installation vessels during wind farm construction as well as making the most of wind power during subsequent operations.

The Japanese-headquartered company, one of world’s largest weather data companies, established a specialist offshore team 18 months ago to focus on offshore energy and specifically wind farm installation and operation.

Now it is ramping up activity in the sector against a backdrop of growing energy security concerns in Europe and the Biden Administration’s drive to develop offshore wind off both coasts of the US. At a press briefing in London this week, Jesse Vecchione, head of Business Development and Sales Leader, North America, outlined some of the company’s plans.

Its cloud-based Anemoi service, developed specifically to support offshore wind power developments anywhere in the world, uses accurate high-resolution meteorological forecasts combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and real-life data.

Unlike some of the more recent start-ups – WNI was established in 1986 – AI is only one of the data sources and Vecchione is keen to stress the importance of ‘the human in the loop’. The company employs more than 400 meteorologists. Vecchione is one of them.

In offshore wind, accurate weather forecasts are essential both during the wind farm construction phase, and then to maximise wind energy generation during operation. Accurate predictions will become even more important as developments in floating wind gather pace. The installation of safe and secure mooring systems is likely to involve some of the most expensive subsea installation vessels for which maximising uptime is a key consideration.

Then, during operation, accurate forecasts to harness as much power as possible through alignment and weathervaning will be key considerations for energy yield. And, in safety terms, accurate forecasting will also be necessary when extreme conditions could require a shutdown.  

WNI claims that its forecasts are among the most accurate. Most sea wind and wave data, Vecchione explained, is forecast on the basis of a five-kilometre mesh. But the company’s Emotion system provides forecasts using a one-kilometre mesh, the highest resolution that is currently available. Using Emotion, WNI has a proprietary model for forecasting wind and waves on an hourly basis for up to 72 hours.

Denmark’s Ørsted, a leading offshore wind developer, has been using WNI’s Anemoi system during construction, maintenance, and other offshore work at the Greater Changhua 1 & 2A wind farms 35-60 kilometres of the Taiwan coast. The 900MW facility is expected to be commissioned this year.

Vecchione outlines WNI’s meteorological database, the world’s largest, which collates data every day from two of its own satellites, 13,000 observation points, more than 10,000 reports from ships and 260,000 reports from aircraft, and 180,000 reports from other global weather sources. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.