Is floating wind the future?

Published 7 August 2014

Our Business Development Manager Cian Conroy takes a look at some of the latest innovations in floating wind

If all Archimedes needed to move the world was a firm place to stand, what do we do when that place is on the seabed? The UK first dipped its toe into offshore wind in 2000. With water depths at the Blyth site between six to 11 metres, the Beatrice Demonstrator in 2007 set a world first at 45 metres. But now as we go further offshore into greater water depths, the question is how do we deploy wind farms in over 100-metre sea depths? There are now opportunities for companies to come forward with ideas.

Following on from our previous blog on the future of offshore wind, we look to the world of floating wind and the continued learning in renewables from other sectors. This time oil and gas, and how Norway looked to this sector to help face the challenge of reducing Carbon emissions in a country whose electric power supply is mainly from renewables in the form of hydropower. The opportunity to reduce emissions came from Norway’s oil and gas platforms, these platforms are currently powered by on-site gas turbines. They rely on fossil fuel for power generation, with a typical platform generating 100MW releasing over 500,000 tons of CO2 per year. Whilst the concept of connecting renewables to oil and gas platforms was proven on the Beatrice platform, how do we resolve this at deepwater sites……..the answer is floating.

Having first successfully trialled their floating Hywind wind solution in 2009, Statoil is now looking for innovative companies to improve assembly and installation. With the challenge open until 15th September,  Statoil Technology Invest want to hear from companies who can assist in this – check out Statoil’s Hywind installation challenge