Thorne & Derrick: Electrical Safety in Wind Turbines
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Sometimes, even when all evidence points to you being the very best at what you do, and this pre-eminence suggests you
should be used far more than you actually are, you still have to be patient.
You still have to prove yourself. You have to win trust. You have to perform – at the highest level – consistently and over time.
So here is the not-so-short story of how UltramapGlobal’s apparent overnight success in Offshore Renewables Protection
wasn’t overnight at all.
What is Offshore Renewables Protection?
Offshore Renewables Protection is UltramapGlobal monitoring the movement of vessels in the vicinity of their Renewables
client’s subsea cables and associated assets. Then, UltramapGlobal communicate with and redirect vessels that pose a threat.
UltramapGlobal’s always-on, complete monitoring and response solution, using their world’s-most-used cable monitoring
software AssetMonitorâ alongside three co-located monitoring teams around the world, is relevant and valuable both as
Renewables cables are being installed, and once Renewables cables become operational.
UltramapGlobal’s intention is clear. It is to reduce cable strikes around the world – in the emerging and increasingly important
and impactful Offshore Renewables Market – to zero.
The Cross-Channel IFA 2000 ‘Interconnector’ Renewable Power Cable
UltramapGlobal has been protecting the famous IFA 2000 ‘interconnector’ HVDC Power Cable since 2017.
IFA 2000 (sometimes simply referred to as ‘IFA’) is 75km long, 45km of which is subsea, and runs between landings near
Folkestone in England and near Calais in France. It shares power between the two countries.
Say Hello to IFA2
The IFA 2000 (or ‘IFA’) ‘interconnector’ Power Cable (mentioned above) is jointly owned and managed by National Grid in the
UK and RTE in France.
As is IFA2, a second ‘interconnector’ Power Cable launched by the same joint owners in late 2020. IFA2 is 240km long and
links Hampshire in the UK to Normandy in France.
UltramapGlobal also protects IFA2 and has done since launch. It was in fact their successful protection of IFA2000 (IFA) from
2017, that led to UltramapGlobal being trusted to protect IFA2 from 2020.
And it is on the back of this steady, step growth of UltramapGlobal’s working relationship with National Grid UK and RTE
France that, a full 5 years later, in 2022, something rather special happened.
National Grid UK, RTE France and UltramapGlobal. Stepping Up In 2022.
The path to UltramapGlobal ‘stepping up’ from protecting not only IFA2000 (IFA) and IFA2 – but every single RTE France-
owned wind farm and associated export cable in existence, plus every single RTE France owned wind farm and associated
export cable that will be created for at least the four-year period between 2022 and 2026 – was no short or easy path. And nor
should it have been.
Cable and asset protection from vessels and other threats endangering infrastructure integrity and continuation of supply
throughout installation and operation of wind farms collectively worth billions of pounds, over five years, is a big ask.
The competitive tender for the delivery of protection for every wind farm and associated export cable that RTE currently
operates, plus every wind farm and associated export cable that RTE creates within the initial four-year period between 2022
and 2026, was posted online in the European Journal in late 2021.
UltramapGlobal tendered, as part of a detailed two-part process, alongside numerous global players.
Stage one of the tendering process assessed the technical capabilities of potential providers, in line with the detailed technical
requirements of the assignment.
Stage two of the tendering process assessed how each provider would prioritise, plan and uniquely deliver on the exact and
immediate needs of the infrastructure, plus how quality and consistency would be maintained over time, at a sensible price
The tendering process, end-to-end, took a little over 6 months.
UltramapGlobal was chosen ahead of all other tenderers from around the world, as RTE France’s Global Subsea Renewables
National Grid UK, RTE France and UltramapGlobal. Our Offshore Renewables Protection Partnership – from 2022 to
UltramapGlobal has entered Offshore Renewables Protection at a high level.
Here’s what these early achievements mean to UltramapGlobal, as described by one of the global brand’s founders, Martin
“UltramapGlobal protect Power Cables, Telecoms Cables, Cables being Installed, Oil and Gas Pipes Cables and Renewables
Cables and associates assets in almost every ocean of the world.
And the most intriguing sector of all right now is, undeniably, Renewables. It’s all so new. We are learning so much about the
sector. At a time when the sector is learning so much about itself.
The first RTE France Renewables wind farm and associated export cables we are protecting is Saint Nazaire. Next, it’ll be
Calvados in late 2023. We’re preparing for that now. Then, we’ll be protecting up to eight more wind farms and associated
export cables over the following four years.
It’s quite a responsibility. We were pleased when, in February 2022, RTE France trusted UltramapGlobal to protect not just IFA
and IFA2 interconnectors, but all existing wind farms, plus planned wind farms, through to 2026.”
2022 and Beyond. UltramapGlobal and Offshore Renewables Protection.
The UltramapGlobal teams continue to grow in size and stature, with Offshore Renewables Protection being of particular
After all, if global players such as the National Grid in the UK and RTE France are trusting their entire current and future
infrastructure to UltramapGlobal, who knows what might happen next?