Mainstream uses Optioneer to explore grid connection scenarios as it develops three offshore wind farms

Mainstream Renewable Power is one of the leading developers of offshore wind with assets spanning across the globe. Mainstream is currently developing three sites off the east, southeast and west coasts of Ireland, with plans for significant offshore wind energy developments at each location and designed to support the Government’s Net Zero targets for 2030.

THE CHALLENGE

The three sites are located in a highly-competitive area of the Irish Sea which has attracted offshore wind developers from all over the world. The Irish planning regime can be demanding and requires that developers demonstrate due consideration of all possible routing scenarios, both offshore and onshore. Due to the very open-ended nature of the problem, early stage site development requires looking at multiple geographical areas, assessing multiple locations of offshore substation platforms, potential landfalls and feasible grid connection points. As a result, hundreds of potential combinations of individual connections have to be assessed in a short period of time.

THE SOLUTION 

Mainstream’s team was faced with a significant amount of work to be done in a relatively short period of time. With the help of Optioneer, the team was able to explore millions of options assessed against environmental, social, engineering and cost criteria. Optioneer provided a broader range of options and an intuitive user interface which allowed the whole team to collaborate and make more informed decisions faster. The platform also allowed for a combined analysis of onshore and offshore routes.

We used Optioneer’s AI to efficiently seek the most feasible offshore and onshore cable routes, narrowing down millions of options to a shortlist. We then utilised the platform to further refine these routes, simply and efficiently collaborating across the project team, involving engineering, consenting and stakeholder management along with external consultants – all providing inputs within Optioneer to select the most feasible routes.
Joe Shinkwin, Civil Engineer, Mainstream Renewable Power

THE OUTCOME

Our solution helped Mainstream to seamlessly shortlist optimal route options while demonstrating to stakeholders that alternatives had been considered. Working collaboratively, the different teams involved were able to refine these options directly within the platform. By using Optioneer throughout project development, Mainstream is able to accelerate consenting programmes without compromising on the quality of its routing process.

The team were enthusiastic, extremely competent and worked with us to find solutions. The software is very easy to use. It has some really powerful features that are made simple because of a smart user interface.
Leo Quinn, Senior Offshore Development Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power

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