The Carbon Trust-led Floating Wind Joint Industry Partnership has selected partners in projects to investigate the impact of next-generation turbines and heavy lift operations on floating wind farms up to 1GW capacity.
In the first project, Rambøll will investigate the impact of increasing power rating of larger turbines on the scaling requirements of floating foundations.
The company will use 6MW, 10MW and 15MW turbines as a baseline to evaluate the potential cost savings from adopting larger next-generation turbines, the Carbon Trust said.
The study will also engage with turbine manufacturers to assess the design requirements for turbines on floating structures, the Carbon Trust said, emphasizing that gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between turbine performance and optimum foundation size will help increase confidence in less conservative design requirements and identify opportunities for lower cost integrated designs.
Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) will lead a second study into heavy lift offshore operations during the installation and maintenance of floating wind farms, and will, together with a technical panel consisting of leading heavy lift contractors, investigate the feasibility and technology development needs to conduct heavy lift operations offshore.
“These new studies will investigate two critical challenges for the burgeoning floating wind sector. Scaling effects with larger turbines are expected to be a key driver of cost reduction, particularly as larger next generation turbines reach the market. Likewise, future projects will be reliant on the ability to install and maintain large floating wind farms in challenging offshore environments, and this will be a crucial enabler in reducing investment risk for commercial projects,” Rhodri James, Manager at the Carbon Trust, said.
The Floating Wind JIP is a collaborative R&D initiative between The Carbon Trust and offshore wind developers Ørsted, ENGIE, Eolfi, E.ON, innogy, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Statoil, EnBW, WPD and Vattenfall.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the JIP aims to investigate the challenges and opportunities of developing commercial-scale floating wind farms. Since its formation in 2016, the project has been delivered in two stages, each consisting of studies outlining the critical needs for the sector to reach cost parity with other energy technologies.