Wireless telecommunications provider Vilicom is set to deliver the first cloud-native private network for a UK offshore wind farm.
The Moray East wind farm off the coast of Scotland is currently in its construction phase, with turbines supplied by Dutch manufacturer Vestas. When completed, the wind turbines are expected to generate sufficient power to supply clean energy to one million homes across the UK.
Vilicom’s Open RAN (oRAN) network will function as a voice and broadband communication network for up to 500 people, as well as hundreds of devices and critical technologies needed during the construction phase and long-term operation of the wind farm.
“The communications network combines the stability and reliability of 4G technology with the innovations available with 5G,” stated Vilicom Group Sales Director, Gearoid Collins.
“This cloud-enabled network delivering a purpose-built network for Moray East is designed to ensure minimum infrastructure is deployed offshore, is scalable for future mobile technology evolution, and supports the current and future communications needs for people and machines working in this remote and sometimes harsh environment.”
The private network is designed to suit the specific requirements of Vestas and will be managed around the clock from Vilicom’s onshore network operations centre.
“For hundreds of workers, this site will be their home and office for months at a time. A reliable high bandwidth network simply makes life and work easier,” Collins added.
“The network will provide essential communications for the lifetime of the site, ultimately aiding the seamless connection of approximately one million homes to renewable, sustainable energy.”
Vestas Head of IT, Service & Operations, Antoine Goodwin, stated: “Vilicom is an innovative network provider that shares our vision of delivering low-carbon energy through offshore wind in UK waters and beyond.
“Given the complexity and longevity of the Moray East project, we are pleased that Vilicom’s 4G+ technology could be upgraded to 5G in the future, and with their experience in similar large-scale projects, we are confident they will be able to meet the project requirements; from ideation to delivery.”