Employees at our offices at GEV Wind Power have always been intrigued to find out what it is like for our technicians to be on an SOV, and what they get up to in their spare time when on-site. We asked Andy Rendell, our experienced Field Blade Technical Manager, what it was like for him on his first offshore project spending 2 weeks time on an SOV, something which our valued technicians do on a frequent basis on offshore projects.

SOV, service operation vessel

SOV stands for service operation vessel and has a reliable Walk-to-Walk platform for wind operations and capabilities for CTV (crew transfer vessel) transfer. SOV’s are commonly used over a normal service ship because they can withstand stormy and rough weather conditions.

Field Blade Technical Manager

Hi Andy, could you please introduce yourself, and what your responsibilities are for GEV Wind Power?

Hi there, I am Andy Rendell, a Field Blade Technical manager for GEV Wind Power, and my specialities are in LEP (Leading Edge Protection), PCU (Powercurve upgrade) and LPS (Lightning Protection System).

Thanks for that Andy, now that the readers know a bit more about you, could you please tell me how your first experience on the SOV was?

My first experience was fantastic. I have been in the wind industry for over 6 years now, and 5 of those were spent indoors in a factory, so it was brilliant to finally see live wind turbines in operation, specifically being a part of a live project running successfully.

What were you doing day-to-day?

Our day-to-day duties whilst aboard the SOV included technical support (meet the new combined technical team), hands-on training where needed, assisting with planning and execution of project works, and daily report checking of the work completed that day.

How much spare time did you have and what were you able to do with your free time?

There wasn’t much spare time to be honest as it was a live project, however, I did manage to watch the England v Scotland game in the cinema room with the rest of the GEV team. The result was not what we had hoped for being an England fan, but what a brilliant tournament it was and roll on the World Cup!

What were the biggest positives, and the biggest negatives that you can take away from your time on the SOV?

The biggest positive for me was seeing the technicians performing high quality work on time, and safely. Having been part of this project from the get-go, starting from training our technicians in our new GEV academy, supporting with technical assistance from the back office and finally joining the project in the field, it was great to see how much they had come on from the first report submitted to the last.
I suppose the only negative for me was being away from my fiancé and 3 children, but they are supportive of the role I have within the company and that makes it a little easier.

The biggest question, would you like to do it again?

100%, this is going to become a more frequent part of my role here at GEV and I can’t wait for many more projects to be a part of in the future!

sunset, wind farm, offshore

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