Alstom, DCNS Enter Floating Wind Deal

Alstom Renewable Power Chairman Jérôme Pécresse and DCNS Marine Energy and Infrastructures Division Director Thierry Kalanquin were on hand on 13th of October as both groups signed a partnership agreement in the floating wind energy business.

The agreement aims at developing and then commercialising an integrated system for a semi-submersible floating wind turbine delivering 6 MW.

The groups will combine their respective skills as naval architect and turbine manufacturer to develop a competitive, powerful solution for a large potential market. The objective is to be in a position to produce an initial 6MW wind turbine by 2017, featuring a semi-submersible floating system developed by DCNS plus Alstom’s Haliade 150 offshore wind turbine, already being used in fixed-bottom offshore wind turbine technology.

Named “SEA REED”, this project has received support from the ADEME, through a Technological Bricks CEI implemented as part of the “Investissements d’Avenir” scheme, specifically €6m in funding to cover the initial study and certification phase for the floating system featuring the Haliade turbine. Securing this support is a decisive step in developing a competitive solution for a floating wind turbine series model.

To begin with, both partners will work together at optimising the interface between the two systems. Alstom will be in charge of studies to adapt and integrate the Haliade with the floating system. For its part, DCNS will conduct studies on the behaviour, sizing, industrialisation and installation of the floating system combined with the turbine.

Floating wind energy provides an innovative alternative for enhancing the energy potential of maritime settings that are too deep to install fixed-bottom foundations. Such settings usually provide better wind conditions while being more extensive and less travelled than near-coastal areas. The floating system’s innovative design and its simplified installation process (assembled at the port) will help the offshore floating wind energy business deliver competitive energy costs.

Producing the first series model acts as the first decisive marker prior to deploying pilot farms, and then commercial farms. Both partners are positioned to become the leaders in a new French industrial sector which will ultimately be open for export.

“By combining the technology of our Haliade offshore wind turbine with DCNS’ unique expertise in the maritime field, we are merging our respective know-hows as early as possible in the process so we can work together at developing an innovative, competitive energy solution,” said Alstom Renewable Power Chairman Jérôme Pécresse.

“This partnership will encourage the emergence of a floating wind energy sector that will create jobs in France throughout those coastal areas where the farms will be installed. Our agreement is the world’s first-ever partnership between a naval architect and an energy-sector player who has already demonstrated the performance of a high-power wind turbine,” pointed out DCNS Marine Energy and Infrastructures Division Director Thierry Kalanquin.

Press release; Image: alstom

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