A multi-criteria port suitability assessment for developments in the offshore wind industry


AHP is used to reconcile the diverse factors involved in offshore wind port selection.

The key selection factor for Installation and O&M ports is the distance to the wind farm location.

The distance to the offshore site, Quay load bearing capacity, and Port’s depth are important factors for installation ports.

Port Owners can assess the suitability of their port to support the future offshore wind sector.


This paper investigates the logistics capabilities of offshore wind ports, namely physical characteristics, connectivity and layout of the port, for supporting the installation and operation and maintenance phases of offshore wind projects. The relative significance of these criteria is determined using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The AHP methodology is then applied in a case study as a decision-making tool to enable decision makers to assess the suitability of a number of ports for an offshore wind farm located off the North Sea coast of the United Kingdom (UK).


  • Port selection;
  • Multi-criteria decision-making;
  • Analytical hierarchy process (AHP);
  • Offshore wind;
  • Renewable energy


  • AHP, analytical hierarchy process;
  • ANP, analytical network process;
  • CAPEX, capital expenditure;
  • CR, consistency ratio;
  • ELECTRE, Elimination and Choice Expressing Reality;
  • GBF, Gravity Based Foundations;
  • HLV, heavy lift vessel;
  • LCOE, levelised cost of energy;
  • Lo-Lo, lift on/ lift off;
  • MADM, multi-attribute decision making;
  • MCDM, multi-criteria decision making;
  • O&M, operations and maintenance;
  • OPEX, operating expenditure;
  • PROMETHEE, Preference Ranking Organisation Method for Enrichment Evaluation;
  • Ro-Ro, roll on/roll off

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