Orsted claimed a world-first by using large autonomous drones to deliver cargo to offshore wind farms.

The Danish group is testing the drones to transport equipment from vessels to the Hornsea 1 project in UK waters.

The drones being used by Orsted have a wingspan of 2.6 metres – about the same as an Albatross – and can carry up to 68kg, said the company.

Using the autonomous airborne vehicles can cut down on the costs and time of multiple trips to turbines by ships, which result in shutdowns, and improve safety for human personnel, it added.

Orsted said the Hornsea 1 test marks a step-up from the small loads previously carried by drone.

“We believe the UK can be the first country to commercialise this system in offshore wind farms, acting as global leaders,” said Mikkel Haugaard Windolf, who leads the Orsted project.

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