The move of wind energy offshore involves unique technical considerations during the project’s development. With multiple key stakeholders such as: designers, manufacturers, developers, investors and regulatory bodies, each inevitably focusing on their own areas of interest during project development. This paper will focus on some of the differences between onshore and offshore wind energy technology, the new risk environment in which they operate, and how project certification can provide a useful tool for boosting stakeholder confidence during development while insuring cross-disciplinary integrity for the project as a whole. The European offshore wind energy market will be outlined, highlighting the major project developments in Northern Europe, and the associated market forces that have driven this development. Focusing on the technology itself, some of the driving technical issues for offshore wind energy today and for the foreseeable future will be discussed. An overview of recent developments in the large wind turbines used in offshore projects themselves, such as increases in rotor diameters and rated powers is presented, leading to a discussion on some of the key component developments facilitating this. An introduction to energy production will be given that focuses on offshore wind farms, and this will be tied in with a discussion on various foundation concepts for offshore wind turbine support structures. Encompassing it all, the role of project certification is discussed in its key phases being: design basis, design, and manufacturing, installation, commissioning, in-service, and decommissioning. This overview will be provided with reference to practical industry experience and the various existing DNV rules currently in publication.

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