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Life as an Offshore Wind Technician

13/12 2016Posted by: npower Resourcing Team Subscribe to this blog

Welcome to Gwynt Y Mor, an offshore windfarm based in beautiful North Wales. With 160 turbines, it’s the second largest windfarm of its kind anywhere in the world. Now meet the people who work here.

Arwel Jones is an Offshore Wind Turbine Tech Shift Supervisor who worked his way up after previously earning the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ title a couple of years running. Sion Evans is an Offshore Wind Turbine Technician. They each work on a shift rotation pattern, covering eight weeks offshore and eight weeks onshore in the control room. But what does a typical day in the life look like for people in this position?

Step one: Arrival and preparation

When arriving at the Gwynt Y Mor site, technicians are given their job list for the day so they have an overview of what turbines they’re working on and what issues they’re responsible for. They then go to the stores and ensure they have all parts, tools and kit to carry out the day’s tasks - it’s a long way back if they forget anything, so this step is crucial. After transporting the kit to the boat, it’s time to travel out in groups of 12 to the turbines. This trip takes an average of an hour each way, so it’s a good opportunity for techs to prepare themselves for the coming projects and get to grips with the day ahead. The team typically catches up on risk assessments and instructions for the day, and occasionally take part in safety drills that cover potential danger areas on the boat.

Step two: At the turbine

Once the techs have arrived at the turbine, they’re assisted to ensure they gain a safe entry and embark their climb to the turbine platform. This is typically done in teams of two, with the day’s kit also transported during this period. Once all kit is safely on board, techs carry out their assigned tasks as per the job lists. Shifts last an average of 10 hours and offer some truly outstanding views – Arwel has described the turbines as having ‘the best office window in the world’.

Step three: Home again

As the shifts come to an end, techs are picked up by boat and transported back to the site. In stormy conditions this trip can be tricky to navigate, so it’s vital all staff are fully trained to reduce risks with this voyage.

Control room shifts

When on shifts in the control room, technicians carry out many different tasks such as controlling the turbines, dealing with weather reports, managing the marine side of things, updating risk assessments and technical information and updating systems which transfer information in regards electricity being produced to both trading and the national grid.

An employee perspective

Both Arwel and Sion love their work and take immense pride in their roles. They speak fondly of how much pride they take in helping supply renewable energy and making things work when they are broken. The autonomous nature of the role mean they can be their own boss when working offshore, using the most up-to-date technology in the world and gaining a real sense of achievement when jobs are completed. For more information on working as an Offshore Wind Technician at Innogy, check out our latest vacancies here or read more about us.
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