15 Basque companies led by Saitec Offshore Technologies have launched the FLOAT&M project to research and develop new solutions to improve operations & maintenance (O&M) of floating offshore wind farms.
The project kicked off in 2021 and was officially launched this week during the WindEurope Bilbao event.
The three-year project is financed by the Basque Government’s Hazitek Programme, with support from the European Fund of Regional Development.
Floating wind power is expected to have grown from its current position of developing prototypes, with barely 100 MW installed, to having more than 16 GW installed by the end of the decade, deploying commercial wind farms in the second half of the decade.
Given the exponential growth of the sector, the project’s main motivation is to respond to the challenges that arise within O&M services in floating wind energy developments. The need to improve their efficiency and make it easier to monitor their condition and reduce offshore wind technical staff interventions is key to increasing the competitiveness of projects, the consortium said.
FLOAT&M intends to take advantage of the knowledge and experience acquired in the research and development of new equipment such as drones, robots and connectors, digital solutions, new materials, and anti-corrosion solutions through developing new technologies to offer the offshore wind market a competitive technology-based solution.
Companies in the sector will be able to improve these areas by obtaining relevant information on the operating condition and state of health of elements and systems, managing and processing this information, and acting on the system in real time.
The results obtained from this initiative are expected to make it possible to increase the reliability of floating offshore wind assets, reduce the number of hours not in operation, monitor the condition of the wind asset by enabling improved operation and maintenance strategies, reduce the need for access to the floating platforms, increase the safety of the people involved in operating the installations and, lastly, contribute to the sustainability of the continued operation of offshore wind turbines, thereby increasing their useful life.
Apart from Saitec, the FLOAT&M consortium includes Aeroblade, Alerion, Core Marine, Ditrel, Egoa Energía, Inalia, Lumiker, Mugape, Nautilus, Navacel, Sener, Sidenor, Vicinay Cadenas and Vicinay Sestao. The project’s advisory committee also includes Iberdrola and Siemens Gamesa.
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