2019 Edelman Finalist Vattenfall

Operations Research Optimizes Offshore Wind Farm Design and Enables a Fossil-Free Future

As one of Europe’s largest producers of electricity Vattenfall is currently expanding its wind energy operations significantly. Operations research (O.R.) techniques are playing a vital role in this, realizing hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. In the design of wind farms, Vattenfall combines O.R. techniques with technical knowledge, commercial insight and system design to achieve estimated savings of $11-$17 million per wind farm, and more than $170 million overall.

By focusing on two complex components of offshore wind park design, wind turbine location and routing for offshore electrical cables, Vattenfall is able to maximize its power output, expand its pipeline, and is on track to reach its target of enabling a fossil free living within one generation. In addition to maximizing energy production, these O.R. techniques enabled Vattenfall to minimize immediate costs relating to turbine foundations and cables, as well as life-time costs, such as cable losses.