This week, the construction team behind Ørsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm have taken part in their bi-annual rehearsal of concept (ROC) drill to plan the later stages of the project’s installation.
The event usually involves around 100 colleagues on location to get together and share best practice as well as identifying potential snags however, Covid-19 has meant that the team have had to introduce new ways of working.
The new Thrive Safety Leadership Centre based at MODAL in Immingham already benefits from a 180-degree laser projected screen in a room that is spacious enough for the event. By reducing numbers to a maximum of eight colleagues, the small group will conduct the full drill for hundreds of their colleagues dialling in virtually.
Jason Ledden, Senior Project Manager at Ørsted said: “The ROC drill is an imperative part of the construction process for a project of this size. We’ve had to adapt the way we work and implement new techniques to give our teams the best possible experience whilst connecting to our virtual event. The latest technology has been utilised so that the experience is as real to life as possible.”
As well as the standard Covid preventative measures such as hand sanitising stations and a well-ventilated room, the team have adopted the use of see-through face masks which will enhance communication through body language and facial expressions. The team have also implemented state-of-the-art social distancing wrist bands which will buzz if two users come within a two-meter distance of each other.
Using virtual headsets which have been sent over from their manufacturer in New Jersey, USA, the team have created an engaging platform online to ensure that their colleagues do not have to travel unnecessarily to participate in person. Teams joined remotely from across the UK, Europe and even Singapore to take part in the session.
Patrick Harnett, Senior Project Director for Ørsted said: “This drill explores the latter stages of construction for Hornsea Two, including the delivery of our onshore substation and reactive compensation station to site. Expected to take place around the final quarter of this year, it’s essential that we plan well ahead of schedule to ensure that everything is considered in terms of safety, logistics and clear communication.
He continued: “Reassuringly, the teams have already fed back that this new way of co-ordinating our drill is even better than before. I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to adapt our methods to provide a safer and more enjoyable work experience.”
To date, the Hornsea Two construction continues as planned with around 20% of the foundations having now been installed at the site. The export cable installation works are on schedule and turbine installation is set to commence in the second half of this year.
Once complete in 2022, Hornsea Two will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm to date. Covering an area larger than four times the size of Manchester, Hornsea Two will be able to generate 1.4 GW of clean energy.