Watch wind technicians ‘walk to work’ at US offshore wind farm Vineyard Wind 1 [video]


Check out this cool video on Reddit of a “walk to work” gangway that’s now being used by wind farm technicians at Vineyard Wind 1.

tangotango112, who posted the video on r/Engineering Porn, wrote in the comments that they’re a former fisherman that drives one of two Chouest boats at Vineyard Wind 1. tangotango112 says they’re responsible for the “crew, ship, and environment,” and that they posted the video of the Ampelmann gangway in action because it’s “cool as shit and wanted to share it.” It’s only been in use at Vineyard Wind 1 for a couple weeks.

Wind technicians live aboard the Chouest boat, and they’re taken around the wind farm to install the turbines. tangotango112 explained how the workers get to the turbine foundations via the Ampelmann gangway, which is mounted to the boat deck:

The yellow part is the transition piece to where the tower will eventually be mounted. I bring the workers to various pieces throughout the day for them to do their work. That gangway is how they get across.

Once the gangway is safely connected to the turbine platform, the technicians walk across one at a time. tangotango112 writes that “this gangway serves as a crane as well. [The workers] need their tools and equipment lifted over each time.”

The $3.5 billion Vineyard Wind 1, a 50/50 joint venture between Avangrid and green investors Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts. The 806 MW offshore wind farm will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind 1 is expected to be ramped up to 200-300 MW by the end of 2023, and it’s expected to reach its full power potential by mid-2024. 

Ampelmann is a Dutch offshore gangway maker that’s been in business for 15 years – last week, it marked 10 million personnel transfers globally. So it’s not new technology, but it’s definitely “cool as shit.” It’s another milestone for the US offshore wind industry, which has struggled recently. Here’s a more in-depth video of an Ampelmann gangway in action:

Read more: The first turbine is up at the US’s first commercial offshore wind farm

Video screen shot: tangotango112/Reddit

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