Aker Offshore Wind has outlined plans to utilise offshore wind underwater substations as part of its bids to develop major floating wind farms offshore Scotland.
The multi-million subsea innovation would be developed, manufactured, and supplied in Scotland by Aker Solutions and provide major export opportunities for Scottish businesses.
Substations are traditionally installed above sea level but moving them down to the seabed brings several reliability and cost benefits, Aker said.
For example, the seawater can be used as a natural cooling system, while reliability is increased through stable temperatures, fewer components, and no rotating parts.
In addition, operational costs can decrease by less maintenance and reduced material use.
The project would be delivered as part of the ScotWind licensing process, for which Aker Offshore Wind has teamed up with Ocean Winds to submit a series of floating bids which could deliver up to 6,000 MW of energy in the Outer Moray Firth.
It would be by far the UK’s biggest wind energy development and power millions of homes with renewable energy, the company said.
”This is a world-leading innovation that would be developed, manufactured and supplied in Scotland,” Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK, said.
”Both the Aker group and Ocean Winds have the necessary heritage and experience to deliver this at scale. We know the benefit is there – it will revolutionise how energy is produced and present Scotland with the opportunity to export genuinely innovative technology to the rest of the world. This technology would be supported by tens of millions of investment and work would start next year. It’s a proven technology that we are now using to ramp up the role of renewables in Scotland.”
Aker Solutions, a sister company of Aker Offshore Wind, is a frontrunner in developing subsea substations and related power system designs. The company would support the delivery of substations from its Aberdeen facilities.
”The development of subsea substations is another major step forward in terms of using world leading energy technology from our partners, Aker,” Dan Finch, managing director of Ocean Winds UK, said.
”It will enable construction of windfarms in areas of the seabed which are too deep for fixed substation foundations, therefore facilitating access to cost-effective sites worldwide, even in very deep waters. By including this proposal in our Scotwind bid, we can position Scotland at the front of the world’s offshore wind market, with a new, innovative technology, offering the economic opportunities associated with a new product with global demand prospects.”