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Mon Sep 18, 2023, 07:51 PM

Underwater robots secured for the US's first floating offshore wind farm

Michelle Lewis | Sep 18 2023
Full Article: https://electrek.co/2023/09/18/us-first-floating-offshore-wind-farm-kicks-off-with-underwater-robots/

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.


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