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DNV GL releases subsea power cable guideline following 18-month Joint Industry Project

Barcelona, Spain - 10th March 2014 DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts, today announced the launch of its guideline “Subsea power cables in shallow water renewable energy applications” (DNV-RP-J301), which provides a comprehensive review of subsea power cable practice and advice for managing the risk commonly associated with the cables.

The recommended practice, which is free to download from, is the most comprehensive of its type in the industry.

  • Technical guideline covers entire lifecycle of subsea power cables, from concept development to decommissioning, and is a comprehensive resource of project guidance
  • Many existing offshore wind farms have faced subsea power cable problems caused by underestimation of complexities and interrelationships
  • Guideline will become essential tool for stakeholders involved in renewable energy projects, improving safety and lowering costs for the wind industry

Problems with subsea cables have affected many offshore wind farms and damage to cables has been identified as a major insurance risk for the offshore wind industry. Cable related problems are costly and most often arise from inadequate risk identification, lack of planning, sub-standard design and deficiencies in how procedures are applied. To date, cabling failures have cost millions of euros in delays and numerous legal disputes.

In order to address these problems, a guideline was developed by the Joint Industry Project (JIP) known as ‘CableRisk’, which was established in August 2012 by DNV GL and 15 partner organisations, including:

  • Bohlen & Doyen
  • Boskalis Offshore
  • DONG Energy
  • Electrabel GDF SUEZ
  • Iberdrola
  • Inch Cape (EDPR, Repsol)
  • JDR Cable Systems
  • Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke
  • Offshore Marine Management
  • Siem Offshore Contractors
  • Tekmar Energy
  • Tideway Offshore Solutions
  • Van Oord Offshore Wind Projects
  • VSMC

The subsea power cable guideline is a comprehensive technical guide that covers all project phases of subsea cable projects. It applies to the entire length of the cable and its surroundings including assessment of project conditions, planning and execution of works as well as asset management. Important sections of the 145-pages document cover design of the physical interfaces at offshore units and in the landfall area.

Thomas Boehme, Principal Engineer with DNV GL and Project Manager for the JIP commented: “The guideline that we’ve developed under the ‘CableRisk’ project is an important step in the right direction to address design questions and manage risks surrounding subsea power cables. Major themes of the guideline are improvement of communication between stakeholders, clarification of what is required and pointing to possible solutions without limiting the options for implementation.”

Kim Mørk, Vice President and Global Technical Manager, DNV GL Renewables Certification and project sponsor for the JIP added: “The guideline will benefit the entire offshore wind industry, from developers and contractors through to owners and operators. Working with subject experts as part of ‘CableRisk’ has enabled us to develop a detailed and credible document, which will provide the industry with crucial insight into this often underestimated part of offshore wind development.”

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