Vegetable fat powers offshore wind farm crew ships

NR Cougar offshore wind farm crew vessel

The NR Cougar working offshore at the East Anglia ONE wind farm which will be powered by vegetable fat - Credit: Jamie Stevens

An offshore wind energy company has gone one step further in its quest towards a sustainable future — by powering its crew transfer vessels with waste vegetable fat.

The pilot project launched by ScottishPower Renewables at its East Anglia ONE wind farm off the Suffolk coast is aimed at helping it meet its net zero targets.

The renewable vessel fuel called HVO30 is made from 30% hydrogenated vegetable oil and a marine gas oil fuel blend. It will be used to power two crew transfer vessels provided by Great Yarmouth-based NR Marine Services.

It means a predicted 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from the boats compared to standard marine gas oil, the company said. 

The renewable fuel is created from 100% waste vegetable oils and holds a proof of sustainability certificate from the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) system.

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ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE project director Charlie Jordan said his team had been working with suppliers to cut CO2 emissions throughout the project as part of the drive to get to net zero. 

“Developing low emission vessels for use in operational wind farms is a real challenge for the industry and we’re proud to be leading the way and taking on this challenge to help us operate in a cleaner and greener way," he said.

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“As we continue to work towards net zero – and with the UK hosting the COP26 UN climate change summit later this year – it’s vital we all do our bit to ensure our operations are as sustainable as possible. Our ambition is to continually work with our supply chain to find ways of reducing our environmental impact across our projects. We’re really pleased to be working with NR Marine Services to deliver this pilot project, which is an exciting milestone on that journey.”

Owen Nutt, director of NR Marine Services — which is operating crew transfer vessels on East Anglia ONE as part of a contract with Turner Iceni — said: “We are really pleased to be paving the way with reducing vessel emissions on two of our vessels, NR Cougar and NR Jaguar.

“East Anglia ONE is an important project for us and it’s great to see ScottishPower Renewables committing to purchase the HVO30 fuel in a bid to further reduce carbon emissions. We are looking forward to analysing the performance of the new fuel and hopefully rolling it out to the entire fleet in the future.”
East Anglia ONE wind farm lies 43km off the Suffolk coast of Suffolk and generates up to 714 megawatts of clean energy every year — which can power more than 630,000 homes. The £2.5bn project — one of four offshore wind farms ScottishPower Renewables is aiming to develop in the region — features 102 Siemens Gamesa 7MW offshore wind turbines and is a joint venture with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG). 

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