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Industry Players Launch New Innovation Challenges for Floating Offshore Wind

Four new challenges, which aim to push the boundaries of innovation in floating offshore wind, have been launched in the NOW Accelerator programme.

Presented by industry players Vattenfall and Seagust, Equinor, Deep Wind Offshore and EDF Renewables, and Å Energi and Corio, the four new challenges are part of the NOW Accelerator programme by Norwegian Offshore Wind.

Vattenfall, in a strategic partnership with Seagust, has set a challenge to enhance the economic efficiency of floating offshore wind production. The goal is to optimise electricity production by increasing Annual Energy Production (AEP), improving market value, and optimising balancing contributions, said NOW.

Solutions that can optimize the design, operation, and maintenance of floating wind farms are said to be crucial to meeting this challenge. 

Another challenge was presented by Equinor which focuses on the sustainability and reuse of floating offshore wind substructures.

The company’s challenge is to develop effective strategies for managing the end-of-life phase of floating substructures, whether steel or concrete. Solutions could include new materials, design optimisations, or novel recycling processes.

Deep Wind Offshore, in collaboration with EDF Renewables, is tackling the challenge of developing efficient and safe drilling techniques for the installation of wind turbine anchors in hard rock foundations.

This challenge aims to foster innovations that enable the expansion of offshore wind into new, challenging terrains. Solutions might involve advancements in drilling technology, new materials for anchors, or innovative installation techniques that can handle hard rock substrates.

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Nordvegen Vind, a collaboration between Corio Generation and Å Energi, has taken on the challenge of developing innovative technologies to monitor and mitigate the environmental impacts of floating offshore wind farms.

The challenge targets the precise measurement of microplastic pollution, noise pollution, and effects on biodiversity within marine environments.

NOW said the goal is to create solutions that provide detailed, real-time environmental data, ensuring the sustainability and regulatory compliance of offshore wind projects. Innovations could include advanced sensor technologies, data analytics platforms, or new methodologies for environmental impact assessment.

NOW announced the launch of its NOW Accelerator programme last year.

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Norway has set a target of reaching net zero by 2050 and has committed to establishing 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2040.

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