Vattenfall Optimizes Offshore Wind Farm Design

Martina Fischetti, Jesper Runge Kristoffersen, Thomas Hjort, Michele Monaci, David Pisinger

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we describe the use of operations research for offshore wind farm design in Vattenfall, one of the world’s leading companies in the generation of offshore wind energy. We focus on two key aspects that Vattenfall must address in its wind farm design process. The first is determining where to locate the turbines. This aspect is important because the placement of each turbine creates interference on the neighboring turbines, causing a power loss at the overall farm level. The optimizers must minimize this interference based on the wind conditions; however, they must also consider the other costs involved, which depend on factors such as the water depth or soil conditions at each position. The second aspect involves determining how to interconnect the turbines with cables (i.e., cable optimization). This requires Vattenfall to consider both the immediate costs and long-term costs connected with the electrical infrastructure. We developed mixed-integer programming models and matheuristic techniques to solve the two problems as they arise in practical applications. The resulting tools have given Vattenfall a competitive advantage at multiple levels. They facilitate increased revenues and reduced costs of approximately 10 million euros of net present value (NPV) per farm, while ensuring a much faster, more streamlined, and efficient design process. Considering only the sites that Vattenfall has already acquired using our optimization tools, the company experienced NPV gains of more than 150 million euros. This has contributed substantially to its competitiveness in offshore tenders and made green energy cheaper for its end customers. The tools have also been used to design the first wind farms that will be constructed subsidy-free.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterfaces (Hanover)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)80-94
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vattenfall Optimizes Offshore Wind Farm Design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this