Humber Gateway is an offshore wind farm located in the North Sea, off the coast of Lincolnshire, England. The site is one of over 40 offshore wind farms commissioned in UK waters. The project was developed by Humber Wind Limited a subsidiary of RWE Renewables, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm operators.
The site is owned by The Crown Estate who oversee a portfolio of unique sites. These include the seabed, natural marine resources and much of the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Island.
In the UK there is a heavy focus on delivering renewable energy solutions. This is driven by the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The UK leads the way in the development of offshore wind farms and produces 45% of all offshore wind power capacity across Europe.
In 2019, offshore wind farms located in the UK generated 9,983MW of power. This is enough electricity to supply the needs of 8.3M homes or around 30% of household demand in the UK.
The Humber Gateway Wind Farm comprises of 73 turbines with a capacity of 219MW. Commissioned in 2015, this site alone provides power for up to 170,000 households in the UK. It is positioned 8km off shore at a water depth of 15m, and spans an area of 25km2. The wind farm is positioned in this location, because of its favourable wind conditions and proximity to the National Grid.
At an estimated project cost of £700M, it was critical to mark this important infrastructure but also to provide guidance for shipping vessels that share these waters.
The wind farm is positioned just outside of ABP Humber, the UK’s busiest trading estuary that supports 40K vessel movements and £75B of trade each year. The cargo that passes through these waters, powers industrial trade and facilitates the main trading route to Europe and beyond.
The North Sea is a high wind area and is subject to rough seas and trying conditions. Navigational aids used to mark the area need to be durable to withstand these factors, but more critically need to be monitored in the event an unexpected outage occurs. Any AtoNs out of service or off station pose a risk to the operation of the wind farm, the safety of vessels and their crew.
Due to these conditions, reliability and availability of the navigation aid is crucial to mitigate any navigation risk. When selecting any AtoN it is important that the design and materials are of the highest quality underpinned by proven performance. This is to ensure that they will withstand the harsh North Sea conditions.
In addition to this, providing asset owners and users up to date information they can act upon is as equally important. This allows users to react accordingly whether this be the mariner, asset owner or maintenance staff.
In 2016, Sealite was engaged to provide a highly visible marking solution for the Humber Gateway Wind Farm. The requirement was to replace temporary AtoN’s installed during the construction phase with a more permanent marking solution.
This project solution comprised of the Atlantic SL-B2600 2.6 metre buoy range and the SL-125 marine lanterns complete with solar power system. The project was managed by the team of experts from Sealite UK who provided a complete end-to-end supply, commissioning and service solution.
The Atlantic 2600 polyethylene buoys feature a 2.6 metre float section with a large focal height. The design provides excellent visibility and stability in rough waters. The buoy is lightweight and easy to transport, packing down into a standard 20ft container. It is also easy to deploy and service.
Since commissioning in 2016, Sealite UK has undertaken the ongoing service and maintenance of these critical assets. They are serviced annually to ensure they remain operational and on-station, helping to protect the critical infrastructure.
In 2020, the development of Sealite’s satellite connected marine lanterns gained the interest of the operators at Humber Gateway Wind Farm. The SL-125 marine lanterns installed in 2016 were replaced with our new SL-510-SA stand alone marine lanterns.
The SL-510-SA is an extension of our SL-C510 satellite enabled models. It features:
• A range of 5-9NM
• Small form factor design
• Two-way global satellite technology via Star2M
• Bluetooth connectivity
The SL-510-SA has exclusive monitoring and control options via the Iridium satellite network, managed via Sealite’s proprietary Star2M portal.
The assets at Humber Gateway Wind Farm are regarded as Category 2 and therefore managing and monitoring their status is a critical requirement for the site’s operators.
The AtoNs are connected through to Star2M providing the asset managers with full visibility of their connected devices. This eliminates the worry and uncertainty around the health and location of assets and also provides them with real time alerts and alarms should something go wrong.
The secure connection via Iridium® satellite technology ensures they can monitor all their critical assets from anywhere, anytime.
“Sealite are once again proud to support the UK renewables energy sector. By utilising the latest monitoring and control technology, the performance of this important navigation aid is enhanced. This also ensures AtoN availability in compliance with IALA standards and guidelines. The client can now benefit from reduced cost of ownership over the entire life cycle of the equipment.” Jamie Girling – Sales Executive, Sealite United Kingdom
On behalf of Karachi Port I am pleased to acknowledge your good service and provision of the new SL-75 solar marine lanterns installed by your firm in the harbour channel at Karachi Port. The new lanterns are very feasible and useful and equipped with the latest navigational technology.
-Captain Muhammad Altaf
As one of your new distributors (Belize and Honduras, Waller Marine Belize LTD), I would like to express my congratulations to you and your people in providing reliable, dependable and inexpensive products. Formerly we were distributors for a Canadian made product but these were found to be too expensive for the market and also offered only difficult and complicated programming. Our first order of lights from you (SL15’s) took only four days to arrive from Aussie Land, when I opened the box they were still flashing. I tested a SL60 (white) for four days (steady on) before it required a recharge…remarkable. I will be placing another order shortly. Keep up the good work.
-Capt Andy Suddes
We choose to sell Sealite … this is a long story, well we treat Sealite as our own and the relationship we have developed with Jeff and Chris and their attitude and commitment towards growing Sealite to this stage is remarkable. We feel at home when talking to them and the staff of Sealite and this in turn gives us more security and strength in selling products in India.
-Aliasgar E Patrawala
I just wanted to say thank you for the light and bracket Sealite supplied to Birkenhead Marina. As the other lights (old ones) need new batteries I will be replacing them with new lights from Sealite and the same brackets that you supplied with the light we received last week … Your product is excellent and the system of setting the light is good also. Thanks again for all your trouble.