A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

Internet cables aren’t the only form of underwater wiring vulnerable to snags on the seafloor. High voltage cables supplying power from the mainland to offshore wind farms are also easy targets if they’re not adequately protected. These black, rubber-coated cables are not the most glamorous components of offshore wind—but they’re critical veins of power that wind operators, developers, and coastal communities rely on to keep this brand new source of clean energy in the U.S. going. “Most people focus on the spinning blades of turbines to ensure that an offshore wind energy project will be successful, but the subsea cables that bring that power to land are equally as important,” said Anthony Kirincich, a physical oceanographer at WHOI. “Power can be cut by cable damage from ship anchors, fishing trawlers, or storms.

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