Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition Opens

The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP) has launched the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of floating wind.

The Carbon Trust, the project lead, together with 14 offshore wind developers represented by the Floating Wind JIP, will select the best ideas with a particular emphasis on mooring systems and operations and maintenance (O&M).

With a fund of GBP 1 million from the Scottish Government, the competition will award innovations that will drive the floating wind market forward to help meet decarbonisation targets and open up a GBP 32 billion market opportunity.

Analysis by the Carbon Trust has shown that while floating offshore wind is a nascent sector, it is forecast to deliver up to 12GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Realising this scale of deployment cost-effectively will require innovative solutions to de-risk the technology and reduce costs.

The objective of the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition is to attract ideas both from within the offshore wind industry and across a wide variety of other sectors including: marine, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, robotics and manufacturing. It is specifically seeking technologies.

The ideas should address four key challenge areas:

  • 1. Technologies that will enable effective and safe major component exchange offshore, for example by compensating for the relative motion between the vessel and turbine during O&M.
  • 2. Developing cost effective and safe disconnection and re-connection operations when turbine foundations are towed to port. This includes novel ‘out of service’ arrangements which ensure mooring lines and electrical array cables safely remain secured in-situ while the turbine is in port.
  • 3. New methods for cost effective, safe and reliable monitoring and inspection of large numbers of mooring lines, power cables and foundation structures.
  • 4. New methods, materials or technologies that reduce the cost of mooring systems through easier and safe installation and/or reduced maintenance requirements.

Innovators will also be able to make applications in a miscellaneous category to enable additional novel ideas to be considered.

“Given that 80% of offshore resource across the world is in deeper water, floating offshore wind will undoubtedly play a key role in renewable generation in the future. Finding solutions to the key challenges identified as part of the competition will facilitate faster deployment of commercial level floating offshore wind farms, allowing this technology to reach its potential,” Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said.

Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Equinor