BP and Tohoku Join Floating Wind Joint Industry Project

UK oil and gas major bp has joined the Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP) managed by the Carbon Trust.

BP and the Japanese electric utility Tohoku Electric Power recently joined the programme alongside the 15 existing members: EDF Renouvelables, EnBW, Equinor, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Ocean Winds, Ørsted, Parkwind, RWE, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TEPCO, TotalEnergies, Vattenfall, and Wpd.

”bp has always seen the benefit of partnership and collaboration, both in terms of technological advancement and delivering solutions at scale. In becoming a member of the Carbon Trust’s Floating Wind JIP, we look forward to contributing and furthering the advancement of floating offshore wind solutions, as we continue to grow our renewables portfolio,” Aleida Rios, Senior Vice President Engineering at bp said.

Tohoku Electric Power is servicing 7.6 million individual and corporate customers in six prefectures in the Tōhoku region plus Niigata Prefecture.

”In response to the growing momentum for decarbonisation internationally, we have declared the ‘Carbon Neutral Challenge 2050’ and we have been developing renewable energy, mainly onshore and offshore wind,” Yasuo Miyatake, Executive Officer, Tohoku Electric Power, said.

”We believe that floating offshore wind is a crucial power source for expanding our green development further. We look forward to working together with partners to tackle and solve the technical and economic challenges through the programme.”

Phase III Summary Report

The Carbon Trust today released The Phase III Summary Report which summarises the research undertaken by the Floating Wind JIP on the technical opportunities and challenges to optimise the floating offshore wind industry as it moves towards commercial-scale farms.

The report outlines that the industry has certain inherent challenges that need to be addressed in order to maximise the efficiency of commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms.

One of the challenges identified is heavy lift maintenance as commercial floating offshore wind farms are likely to be installed in deeper waters, where conventional jack-up vessels will not be a viable option. On top of this, the relative motion of the turbine versus a floating maintenance vessel is a key risk that needs to be mitigated, the report states.

Another issue researched within the report is better solutions to safely disconnect and store all the connections when bringing the turbine back to port, providing recommendations depending on the turbine platform design and the distance to port.

The report also tackled the issue of mooring in challenging environments. Both very deep and very shallow waters come with inherent challenges for anchoring floating offshore wind platforms, from selecting the most cost-efficient mooring system, to mitigating the strong dynamic motions of waves experienced in shallower waters, the Carbon Trust said.

The Phase III Summary report outlines these challenges and summarises the solutions that have emerged as part of the projects delivered within Phase-III and a technological competition managed by the Carbon Trust and the Floating Wind JIP.

Photo: Hywind Scotland, world's first floating offshore wind farm. Source Equinor