TetraSpar Demonstrator Floating Wind Turbine Starts Operating

The TetraSpar Demonstrator floating wind turbine has been commissioned and is now operating some 10 miles off Norway’s coast in water depths of 200 metres.

Source: TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS

The fully-assembled floating wind turbine, comprising the TetraSpar floating foundation and a 3.6 MW Siemens Gamesa direct-drive wind turbine, was towed from Denmark and installed at the METCentre test site off the island of Karmøy near Stavanger in late July.

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The floating foundation was developed by Stiesdal Offshore Technology.

TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS is owned by Shell (46.2 per cent), TEPCO Renewable Power (30 per cent), RWE (23.1 per cent), and Stiesdal Offshore Technologies (0.7 per cent).

”First and foremost, we are happy to have completed all phases of the project without any significant safety incidents, even though we have deployed a very innovative project with a range of world’s first elements,” Henrik Stiesdal, Chairman of the board of directors of TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS, said.

”The deep experience of our project partners has been invaluable in this regard. Next, we are obviously very pleased that the new technologies, a few years ago only ambitions and design proposals, have now come to fruition. All indications are that our key target, to accelerate the industrialization of floating offshore wind, can actually be met, not only at prototype level but at large scale.”

The project will now enter its test phase where data on the performance and characteristics of the TetraSpar floating foundation will be captured and analyzed to pave the way for commercial-scale floating wind projects, TEPCO said.

”We are extremely proud to have reached this important milestone and to have contributed to the realization of a truly innovative floating concept,” Thomas Brostrom, Senior Vice President Renewables at Shell said.

”Shell is committed to further develop the floating wind industry globally by providing technical and financial support to promising concepts such as Tetraspar. Ultimately, we hope to deploy floating wind technology globally and at large scale to enable further decarbonization of our customers’ activities and for society as a whole.”

The demonstration project is said to have shown that Stiesdal’s ‘Tetra’ concept remains on target to offer important advantages over existing floating wind concepts, with the potential for leaner manufacturing, assembly, and installation processes, and with lower material costs.

”Each stage in the process, from manufacturing and assembly, to launch and deployment, has done well, and we are very excited now to have the demonstrator in operation, thereby reaching an important milestone towards commercial operation of the TetraSpar,” Seiichi Fubasami, President of TEPCO RP, said.

”In Japan we expect more floating offshore wind farms to be built from 2030 and onward as we aim for realization of carbon neutrality in 2050. The TetraSpar concept can be utilized in Japan’s natural conditions and enables the easy construction of regional supply chains thereby playing an important role as we aim to transition to renewable energies as baseload power sources. This is a promising new technology for the future and we expect the TetraSpar floater to perform well during operation off the coast of Norway over the next couple of years.”

The upcoming test phase will provide the four partnering companies with knowledge and opportunities to further refine the TetraSpar technology. The partners said they would make full use of the results obtained to expand the possibilities of offshore wind power and thereby contribute to the realization of a clean and sustainable carbon-neutral society.

”The spark of genius with the TetraSpar concept is its industrialized manufacturing and assembly methodology, which we think is crucial for long-term cost reduction,” Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind of RWE Renewables, said.

”Our deep involvement in this project means we have now gathered first-hand evidence about how this approach can be scaled up to commercial projects. This project has taught us more crucial lessons than we could have ever expected, and it has been great to work so collaboratively with our project partners to safely deliver such an innovative technology. It has been particularly interesting to see how important it is to transfer RWE’s experience in seabed-fixed offshore wind into our floating projects. This project’s success motivates us to keep on delivering cutting-edge innovation.”

The defining feature of the TetraSpar foundation concept is said to be the modular “building block” arrangement: each foundation is assembled from tubular steel modules, most of which are common to all configurations.

Another particularity of TetraSpar Demonstrator is its stability provided by a keel deployed 50 metres below the floater.

According to the developers, the TetraSpar foundation is the world’s first industrially manufactured floating offshore foundation and the world’s first spar foundation capable of deployment from an ordinary, shallow-water port.

Photo: TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS