Autonomous robots could be used to build entire wind projects
According to DNV GL, artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to develop onshore wind projects.
AI can be used to improve data collection and analysis, as seen with the Bristol wind project that plans to use drones to for maintenance, and robot installation and operations.
Sensor are currently used to collect data in the industry, which have contributed to the advancement of resource forecasting as well as control and predictive maintenance.
However, the data that has been collected seems to not be used to its potential, argues DNV GL in a position paper.
The report writes that performance information of individual projects is not shared “except to demonstrate the achievement of regulatory minimum standards”.
“It is possible to imagine an onshore wind farm being built entirely by autonomous robots,” the report states.
“The parts of a wind tower and turbine or a solar array are transported from the factory by self-driving lorries, unloaded by another set of robots, attached to the foundations that yet other robots have dug and filled, and pieced together by a final set of robots and drones.”
“Most of these robots are driving robots — or automatic guided vehicles — controlled by artificial intelligence.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.