The Anonymous Widower

SSE, Marubeni & CIP’s Floating Wind Farm In Scotland Could Have 270 Turbines And 6 Offshore Substations

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Renewables, Marubeni and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report for the array area of their Ossian floating wind farm to Marine Scotland. According to the report, the wind farm could have up to 270 wind turbines and six offshore substations.

Ossian floating wind farm will be one of the world’s largest floating wind farms.

  • If it sticks to 3.6 GW, 270 turbines will mean 13 MW turbines.
  • 14 MW would be 3.8 GW and 15 MW would be 4 GW, with the same number of turbines.
  • If they stick to 3.6 GW, this could be 257 x 14 MW or 240 x 15 MW turbines.
  • Knowing ambitious engineers as I do and given that 15 MW turbines are on the way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 15 MW turbines, to get the full 4 GW.
  • According to this press release from Siemens Gamesa, they can make the turbine blades for their 15 MW turbines in Hull.

These two paragraphs outline the design possibilities.

For the floating wind turbine foundations, the consortium is considering either semi-submersible or Tension Leg Platform (TLP) structures and three mooring configurations; catenary, semi taut and taut mooring lines. Anchoring options currently under consideration include driven piles, and a number of different embedded anchor types, including suction piles, Drag Embedment Anchors (DEA) and VLA, with up to nine anchors required per foundation.

Floating foundations might not only be used for the wind turbines, but also for Ossian’s offshore substations.

When I look at a project like this, I also think of the project management possibilities.

  • Will the six offshore sub-stations be positioned, so that as turbines are installed, they can be commissioned and start generating electricity?
  • Is there software to optimise the order of installation?
  • Has a specialist project management system been written for wind farms?

If you need a program to do analyse anything like that, buy me a drink and we’ll talk about it.

It’s about time, some of the algorithms in my brain were put to use.

The article also says this.

The 3.6 GW Ossian floating wind farm is planned to be up and running before the end of the decade.

My experience tells me, that if the right philosophy is used, that estimated date could be beaten.

It’s just that it is a project with so many complexities, that a proper mathematical model of its construction would yield benefits.

March 17, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Sideshore Technology Can Optimise The Layout Of Your Offshore Wind Farm By Applying State-Of-The-Art Algorithms

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the sub-heading.

Smarter offshore wind farm layouts will accelerate the energy transition

These paragraphs outline the problem.

Wind farm layout optimisation is the art of defining the optimal locations of wind turbines, infield cables and substation structures. It presents a golden opportunity to increase project value.

The academic community has done extensive research into numerical wind farm layout optimization, however, in real projects, it is hardly ever applied. Wind farm layout optimisation is complex because it is multidisciplinary. A wind farm development is typically split into work packages (turbine, foundations, cables, substation). The location of each turbine influences the project cost across the various work packages. While wake effects are important, other aspects need to be considered as well. For example, water depth affects the foundation size. Turbulence levels need to be restricted. And cables, seabed preparation, and soil conditions are often neglected, while they too can have a substantial impact on costs. Fully optimising the turbine positions requires not only insight into wake interactions and the cost drivers across all work packages but also a way of linking everything together.

My project management software writing experience would take a system like this further and use the output pf their system to create the project network for a project management system.

The possibilities then are endless.

March 15, 2023 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maritime UK Launches Offshore Wind Plan

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the sub-heading.

Maritime UK has unveiled its Offshore Wind Plan which makes a series of recommendations for how the maritime sector, the offshore wind sector, and governments can work together to maximise growth

These are the first three paragraphs and they outline the plan.

The plan outlines how the growth of offshore wind can provide opportunities across the maritime supply chain in sectors like ports, shipbuilding, crewing, and professional services.

Opportunities identified in the Offshore Wind Plan include building vessels in the UK to support developments and further growing UK ports as centres for manufacturing and assembly for offshore developments

Key recommendations and proposals within the plan include: creating quality career pathways for young people; rewarding higher UK supply chain content in offshore wind projects; reforming the planning system to enable green projects to be delivered quicker; and encouraging lenders and investors to finance infrastructure and vessels


  1. Maritime UK have a web site.
  2. The report seems to be comprehensive.
  3. The report predicts hundreds of ships to build and service wind farms will be needed.

Overall, Maritime UK feel that the maritime sector has a lot to gain from co-operation with the offshore wind sector.

Improved Service Operation Vessels (SOVs)

I don’t see why the large number of Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) needed to serve all the wind farms around our shores, can’t be designed and substantially built in the UK.

In the 1970s, one of Metier Management Systems’ customers for Artemis were the shipbuilders; Austin & Pickersgill, who at the time were building a cargo ship called the SD14, which had been designed to replace the American Liberty ships.

In total 211 SD14s were built in the UK, Greece, Brazil and Argentina.

SD14 stands for Shelter Deck – 14,000 tonnes.

We surely have the technology from companies like BAe Systems, Rolls-Royce and others to design an advanced Service Operation Vessel.

March 8, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Line: More Than 100 Million Journeys On Elizabeth Line, Says YouGov

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These three paragraphs introduce the article.

More than 100 million journeys have been made on London Underground’s new Elizabeth Line since it opened last May, according to a survey.

The YouGov poll suggested 45% of the capital’s residents had also used the line from Reading, Berkshire, to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in Essex.

Transport for London (TfL) said on 1 February it had completed about 600,000 daily journeys.

That is all well and good, but to me, this is the most significant paragraph.

TfL said the railway was “on track to break even” based on operating costs by the end of the 2023/24 financial year.

So it looks like that the planners got the modelling of the operation of the railway correct.

From my experience of project management, I believe that the Elizabeth Line project could have been considered as five main projects.

  1. The boring of the Central Tunnel
  2. The updating of the existing branches to Abbey Wood, Heathrow, Reading and Shenfield
  3. The building of the Class 345 trains
  4. The signalling
  5. The fitting out of the stations in the Central Tunnel

Delivery though was a bit patchy!

These are my thoughts on each sub-project.

The Boring Of The Central Tunnel

I was told, that early on, it was realised by the contractors that they didn’t have enough workers, who were certified to work underground.

So  the Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, was built to train more workers.

This helped the Central Tunnel to be completed on time.

Since then, two more tunnels; the Thames Tideway and the London Power Tunnel have been successfully completed on time and on budget, thus vindicating the building of TUCA.

The Updating Of The Existing Branches To Abbey Wood, Heathrow, Reading and Shenfield

There were a few hiccups, but generally the branches were updated and were operating into Paddington and Shenfield before the line opened.

The Building Of The Class 345 Trains

This wasn’t perfect and Bombardier’s financial state didn’t help, but the trains had good tests running out of Liverpool Street and Paddington.

The Signalling

A lot of commentators have said the signalling was too complicated. But eventually, it all seems to be working.

Was enough testing done away from the Elizabeth Line?

My feeling is that a new UK test track should have been built in the early 2010s, so that some testing could have been done professionally away from London.

The Fitting Out Of The Stations In The Central Tunnel

This was certainly a cause of late handover of stations like Bond Street, Farringdon, Whitechapel and others.

I heard tales, where other projects in London, were offering more money, so consequently workers were moving with the money, thus delaying the completion of stations.

I certainly heard a tale, where all the electricians on one station project moved en masse to complete the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Some of the projects were office projects, paid for by sovereign wealth funds with bottomless projects, so they could make sure their project finished on time.

There were also the problems caused by Brexit, the pandemic and major projects running late in Germany and Europe.

It is my view that Elizabeth Line should have been given more priority, by delaying commercial projects, so that the pool of available labour wasn’t exhausted.

Some of the forest of projects around Elizabeth Line stations, should have been given planning permission, that meant they couldn’t start until Elizabeth Line was finished.

In the 1960s, there was certainly a similar labour problem in Aberdeen. I was told, that the oil majors, who nearly all used the project management system; Artemis, that I had written, talked to each other to make sure the situation didn’t get any worse.

I wonder, if someone was watching the labour shortage problems in City Hall?


I believe that if Elizabeth Line had been given the priority it should have been, that it would have been opened earlier and just as it is now, it would be showing a sensible cash flow.

Now it is a question of catching up financially.





February 21, 2023 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Is Old Street Roundabout A ‘Too Many Cooks’ Project?

The remodelling of Old Street station and the roundabout on top was the lead item on BBC London news this morning.

The project is certainly not going well and seems to be proceeding at a snail’s pace.

Progress On The 24th February 2023

I took these pictures a few days after I wrote the original post.

Compare these pictures with those in Old Street Station – 9th September 2022, which were the last ones I took.


I do wonder, if this project is suffering from too many politicians trying to manage the project at the top.

I suspect Hackney and Islington Councils, the City of London, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the Mayor of London are all having a say.

And I suspect other interested parties like Moorfields Hospital, the various bus companies, and many disgruntled passengers are all adding their four pennyworth.

What is needed is for someone with authority to take charge!

Unfortunately for the project, the guy with the authority; Sadiq Khan won’t be interested, as it’s a North London project.

But please someone, get a grip on this important project!

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An American View Of The Harrier

In The Times today there is the obituary of Ralph Hooper.

This is the sub-heading.

Aeronautical engineer who designed the revolutionary Harrier jump jet and the versatile Hawk used by the Red Arrows.

I have two tales that must be told.

An Artemis Users Conference In Denver

The project management software I wrote; Artemis, was used by both British Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas to build Harriers.

One day, soon after the end of the Falklands War, I was at an Artemis Users Conference in Denver and got chatting to three users.

  • The Project Manager for the US Harrier.
  • A Senior Project Manager for Long Beach Naval Shipyard.
  • A banker from a famous New York Bank.

Because of the times and two project managers working on military projects, the conversation naturally turned to the recent war.

The banker, then said something like. “What you need is a big flat-top with a squadron of Tomcats, to blow the Argies out of the sky.”

Tomcats were top-of-the-range US naval fighter jets.

Whereupon, the McDonnell Douglas guy said. “We’re getting the weather reports! There’s no other aircraft, that can take-off and land in the terrible conditions!”

An A-10 Pilot’s View Of The Harrier

In the 1970s, I used to drink in the Clopton Crown pub. Sometimes, I got drinking with one of the USAF A10 Thunderbolt II pilots from Bentwaters.

As I was a pilot myself at the time, we had quite a few chats about flying.

One night he told how two A10s would fly as a pair, at a fairly low altitude.

To protect themselves from MiGs, one would break away and do a steep turn through a complete circle, scanning the horizon for any threat.

Then the other would do the movement the other way.

He felt that in hostile combat, that they would give any opposition fighter a real kicking, as the attacker would have to keep out of the way of two GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm Gatling-style autocannons, firing large numbers of heavy shells.

He also told me, that he had flown A-10s up against other aircraft on a simulator. He just said, he found AV-8As, as the US called Harriers, very difficult to beat.





January 24, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HS2 Tech Incubator Bases Start-Ups On Site

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from HS2.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The latest cohort of the successful Innovation Accelerator initiative will base tech start-ups with project’s main civil engineering contractors to help tailor innovative solutions for the construction industry.

After discussing the aims, the press release then lists five SMEs.

Silicon Microgravity, a SME spun out from Cambridge University research, is developing non-invasive next-generation gravity sensors to identify underground hazards that could be deployed for ground investigation surveys and utility diversion planning.

EHAB is developing hyper-local weather forecasting and using A.I. to optimise daily works schedules according to when or if rain is due. Reducing weather-related delays helps to maintain programme timetables and control costs.

Immense Simulations will further develop its A.I.-based strategic and operational transport planning tool to de-risk the effects of works traffic on local road networks. The technology could also help plan for the effects future that HS2 stations could have on traffic movements in surrounding areas.

Consequence has developed “carbon accounting” technology that illustrates the full carbon content of construction materials used on HS2.   

Mafic is developing technology to enhance productivity and protect delivery schedules.

My experience of science, data analysis and writing a lot of database and project management software, leads me to the conclusion, that these companies have been well-chosen and a majority will be a success.

December 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Plans Its Biggest Offshore Wind Tender Next Year with Four IJmuiden Ver Sites Likely to Be Auctioned Off In One Go

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article from

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Project To Develop 20+ MW Floating Offshore Wind Technology Kicks Off

This is the introductory paragraph.

December 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Power Plants To Replace Gas In Quest For Net Zero

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

I was very much involved in the writing of project management software in the last three decades of the last century and if there’s one thing we’re generally good at in the UK, it’s complex project management.

Usually problems arise because of political or ignorant senior management meddling.

Our Energy Saviours

I believe our two energy saviours will be floating offshore wind and small nuclear reactors (SMRs) and both need good project management to be built successfully on production lines.

So I don’t see any reason, why we can’t build large numbers of floating offshore wind farms to supply our electricity.

They are also complimentary, in that the fleet of SMRs back up the wind.

Floating Wind First

Floating wind is likely to be developed at scale first, as certifying anything involving nuclear will take an inordinate time.

The electricity from floating wind farms will keep us going, but it is also starting to develop a nice line in exports.

This press release from Drax is entitled Britain Sending Europe Power Lifeline – Report, where this is the sub-title.

For the first time in over a decade, Britain became a net exporter of electricity to its European neighbours, making around £1.5bn for the economy in three months.


  1. The report was written by Imperial College.
  2. Two new interconnectors; Viking Link and NeuConnect between the UK and Europe are under construction.
  3. Several large wind farms are under construction and will be commissioned in 2023/24 and could add over 4 GW to UK electricity production.

Exports will only get better.

A Sprint For Wind

So we must have a sprint for wind, which will then provide the cash flow to allow the SMRs to roll in.

Or will that be too much for the ultra-greens, who would object to cash-flow from GWs of wind being used to fund SMRs?

November 26, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment