Equinor is claiming a world first for the offshore wind sector after using an autonomous craft to research fish and biomass presence at the Hywind Scotland floating array, heralding what the Norwegian group said will be a growing need to use advanced crewless technology as giant projects are deployed far at sea.

The Sailbuoy ‘sea drone’ spent 30 days collecting data at the 30MW Hywind Scotland – the world’s first floating wind array when it came online in 2017 – using acoustic sensors to map fish presence and biomass quality after travelling from Norway to the project site off Peterhead, Scotland.