Contested overruns and performance of offshore wind power plants
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012

Offshore wind power plants are expected to expand rapidly in the coming years. These large engineering construction projects are important for climate change mitigation. The paper contributes to socio-technical understanding of engineering construction. Cost, time, delays and performance results of selected British plants are investigated, with a focus on strategic misrepresentation. This megaproject concept is combined with a socio-technical content analysis of offshore wind farms and provides a technologically precise and contemporary conceptualization in comparison with complex engineering and megaproject approaches. Based on publicly available data, budget and time overruns and underperformance are demonstrated. Budget overruns range from 0% to 65%; time overruns from 9% to 100%. Operational performance indicators reveal plants far below and just below estimations. These are all indications of strategic misrepresentation, but according to project players, the delays originate from weather, product technology, site features and processes. The findings thus indicate a latent controversy regarding reasons for overruns. A socio-technical variant of reference class forecasting (RCF) is developed to explore whether RCF could improve the estimates. Socio-technical RCF is developed for 10 plants that share foundation, national and geotechnical conditions. This provides an illustrative example of a proposed uplift for London Array. Such an RCF should be orchestrated with more governance mechanisms in order to improve future investments in engineering construction, including offshore plants.

Cost overrun

strategic misrepresentation


offshore wind power

London Array


Christian Koch

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management

Construction Management and Economics

0144-6193 (ISSN) 1466-433X (eISSN)

Vol. 30 8 609- 622


Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)





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