High Wind asked BVG Associates to quantify the benefits of using the Boom Lock tool for offshore wind farm installation in reducing weather downtime.

The biggest single cause of weather downtime during offshore turbine installation is the sensitivity of component lifts to high wind speed. High Wind’s Boom Lock tool allows an offshore crane to install wind turbine components at high wind speeds. High Wind is a consortium of GeoSea (DEME Group), G&G International, SBE and Sarens, and is supported by the Flemish government. The first crane with Boom Lock is certificated to lift a 6MW-turbine blade in mean wind speeds of 15m/s with gusts up to 20m/s.
An increase in the wind speed limit for offshore turbine component lifts reduces:

  • Installation costs
  • Construction period
  • Cost of capital
  • Construction insurance
  • Turbine downtime

High Wind needed to quantify these benefits to give the total impact of using the Boom Lock for offshore wind farm installation. For its widespread uptake, both the installation contractors and their customers must benefit from the reduction in weather downtime.

The impact of using Boom Lock was assessed using metocean data and bespoke models. These included a time-series installation algorithm and baseline LCOE calculations from the DECC cost of energy model, developed by BVGA. We also carried out installation cycle modelling to establish the time and cost savings from reduced vessel use and earlier generation. Variations in start date and maximum wind speed for turbine lifts were used to produce a large number of scenarios.

We proved the LCOE reductions achieved from increasing maximum wind speed for lifting from 11m/s to 16m/s are substantial at 1.3%.  About 60% of the benefit is achieved by lower cost of finance because the developer can generate revenue earlier. The remainder is from lower vessel cost.  Boom Lock will use these independently assessed figures to provide a compelling ROI assessment for potential clients and stimulate industry discussion.


“BVGA helped us prove the business case to our customers of using Boom Lock through their unrivaled analysis and understanding of the industry.”

Ole Jacob Wang Nielsen Head of Business Development at High Wind


This case study is available as a PDF download by clicking on this link: BVGA Case study Boom Lock