Underwater robots have been secured for the US’s first floating offshore wind farm

Autonomous underwater robots have been contracted to survey the site of the US’s first floating offshore wind farm.

In December, Norwegian energy giant Equinor won a 2-gigawatt (GW) lease in Morro Bay, California, in the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on the US West Coast. It was also the first US sale to support commercial-scale floating offshore wind development.

The Morro Bay project has the potential to generate enough energy to power around 750,000 US households.

But first steps first: Equinor just signed a contract with marine robotics company Ocean Infinity to conduct a site investigation survey using multiple AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) at the same time at Equinor’s floating offshore wind lease area.

AUVs are underwater robots that operate independently of humans, and they can go to depths that human divers can’t. They’re modular so they can be bespoke and feature such things as sonar, depth sensors, and cameras. They’re either programmed or controlled by remote operators that tell the AUV where, when, and what they should sample. The data that AUVs collect is retrieved by the operators when they resurface.

The data that Ocean Infinity’s AUVs collect at Morro Bay will help Equinor develop and refine its floating offshore wind farm design and will also inform the site assessment and construction and operations plans.

Shawntel Johnson, director of business development at Ocean Infinity, said, “AUVs in scale are the perfect tool for [the US West Coast], providing not only great data quality advantages over towed arrays, in water depths spanning from 974 to 1317 meters (about 4,507 feet), but also huge efficiency over wide areas.”

The UAVs will be deployed at Morro Bay in February 2024.

Read more: California governor calls for a massive 20 GW of offshore wind by 2045

Photo: Ocean Infinity

If you’re considering going solar, it’s always a good idea to get quotes from a few installers. To make sure you find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. It has hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high-quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use, and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisors to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –ad*

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.



About Author

You may also like


Putin attempts to undermine oil price cap as global energy markets fracture

  • December 28, 2022
Russia’s announcement of an oil export ban on countries that abide by a G-7 price cap is the latest sign

European natural gas prices return to pre-Ukraine war levels

  • December 29, 2022
A worker walks past gas pipes that connect a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit ship with the main land in