Maersk Supply Service A/S and Ørsted, the world leader in offshore wind, have formed a partnership to test an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels. The buoy can be used to charge the smaller battery- or hybrid-electrical vessels and to supply power to larger vessels, enabling them to turn off their engines when laying idle. By substituting fossil-based fuels with green electricity, virtually all emissions are eliminated while the buoy is in use.
The proto-type buoy has been developed by Maersk Supply Service while Ørsted is responsible for the buoy’s integration with the electrical grid at the offshore wind farm. The charging buoy will be tested in the second half of 2021, where it will supply overnight power to one of Ørsted’s service vessels.
Upon technical validation and commercial ramp up, the electrical charging buoy has significant potential, short to medium term, to contribute positively to reduce emissions for the maritime industry. This will happen through displacing tens of thousands of tons of fuel consumed every year in the wider maritime sector by enabling inactive vessels to turn engines off and replace energy consumption and charge batteries with renewable electricity. Within five years of global operation, Maersk Supply Service has the ambition to remove 5.5 million tons of CO2, additionally avoiding particulate matter, NOx, and Sox.
Ørsted intends to make any intellectual property generated in designing the integration of the buoy into the offshore wind asset publicly available to maximise the uptake potential of this carbon reduction innovation across the offshore wind sector.
As large parts of the global maritime fleet are getting ready to receive shore power in ports, timing is right for implementing this clean ocean-tech innovation. The charging buoy is applicable as a mooring point outside ports, in offshore wind farms, and near vicinity to other offshore installations. Additionally, it will further help limit the increasing vessel congestions and remove air pollution in port areas.