ABB’s digital leadership supporting energy transition with offshore wind

ABB’s digital technologies are enabling cost-effective energy for the global offshore wind market.

Since the first offshore wind turbine was installed off the coast of Denmark nearly three decades ago, offshore wind has steadily increased in popularity. The market has grown by almost 30 percent per year since 2010, reflecting a rapid reshaping of the energy mix. By 2030, offshore wind is projected to account for almost one quarter of the world’s wind generation,1 boosting efforts to reduce record-high carbon emissions.2

Reflecting ABB`s focus on sustainability to help build a better world, ABB is supporting offshore wind operators with solutions to enable safer and smarter operations. Advances in digital and cloud-based technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping to meet the increasing demand for offshore wind and more renewable energy sources. With such technologies, operators can benefit from new efficiencies.

“Offshore wind is a huge growth industry for ABB,” said Per Erik Holsten, Managing Director, ABB Norway.

“As a technology leader driving the digital transformation of industries – and one bringing more than 50 years of experience in oil and gas operations – ABB is experienced at supporting customers operating offshore, bringing an excellent health, safety and environment (HSE) reputation that’s highly valued in this environment.”

Most recently, ABB has won a 10.6-million-euro order for DolWin5 (Epsilon), which is anticipated to deliver enough renewable energy to power about one million homes for Germany. This follows news about one of ABB`s biggest ever contracts to connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the UK grid.

ABB will enable the reliability, safety and security of the energy transmission from DolWin5 (Epsilon) by providing a comprehensive system for IT infrastructure, OT security, plant-wide condition monitoring, SCADA and remote access services to facilitate stable power transmission to the German national grid.
ABB will enable the reliability, safety and security of the energy transmission from DolWin5 (Epsilon) by providing a comprehensive system for IT infrastructure, OT security, plant-wide condition monitoring, SCADA and remote access services to facilitate stable power transmission to the German national grid.

A changing energy ecosystem

With digitalization, progress and positive change are possible: not only in how power is generated, but how it is connected and integrated into a wider energy ecosystem.

“We are leveraging our global footprint and local expertise across the energy industries – including in oil and gas, power and water – to better meet the needs of our customers. With a focus on leading-edge technology, complemented by our deep domain expertise and flawless project delivery, ABB has a vital role in supporting major renewable energy projects that will help us create, and power, a more sustainable world,” said Holsten.

The changing energy system.
The changing energy system.

From heritage to innovation

More than 60 years ago, ABB pioneered the commercial high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology that is being used in the Dogger Bank project off the coast of the UK today. HVDC technology is used to transmit electricity over long distances by overhead transmission lines or submarine cables with very few losses. It is also used to interconnect separate power systems, where traditional alternating current (AC) connections cannot be used.

As we look ahead to a future less reliant on fossil fuels, innovation will be crucial for a successful global energy transition. At DolWin5 (Epsilon), for example, ABB will enable the reliability, safety and security of the energy transmission to the German national grid, providing a comprehensive system for IT infrastructure, OT3 security, plant-wide condition monitoring, SCADA4i and remote access services.

For the energy market, ABB Ability™ digital solutions extend from energy management to virtual power plants – including OPTIMAX®, which manages all elements of the grid from energy generation and energy storage adapted to consumption requirements to energy distribution, building automation, energy services and the optimal marketing of energy.

“As our customers change, we are bringing our global footprint – combined with local experience – to new and exciting energy projects: integrating technology that’s maximizing energy savings and efficiency gains long-term,” said Holsten.

Collaboration for the future

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040. This is driven by increased competitiveness, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress.

ABB works in collaboration with customers and partners across the energy industry. Just recently, for example, ABB has proven its world-first subsea power technology system. This technology can connect to any power source, enabling future integrations with renewable energy, such as wind and hydro power.

“We have both a heritage in offshore wind, and a track record of supporting our oil and gas customers in minimizing cost, schedule and risk for more than 50 years,” said Holsten.

“At ABB, we are excited about future possibilities for the energy landscape offshore. Using technology and our technical expertise, we are helping our customers meet tomorrow’s energy needs today for the energy transition.”

[1] Report by Global Wind Energy Council

[2] Report by International Energy Agency

[3] Operational technology

[4] Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a computer-based system for gathering and analyzing real-time data to monitor and control equipment that deals with critical and time-sensitive materials or events. Data is gathered, processed and presented, often to issue warnings when conditions become hazardous by sounding alarms.

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