ORE Catapult has developed a unique Operations & Maintenance (O&M) simulation tool for calculating the operational feasibility and profitability of hybrid floating wind-wave sites, boosting the potential investability of these projects.
The simulation tool was developed by ORE Catapult using open-source code from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) under a pilot project for the Ocean Energy Scale-Up Alliance (OESA). The first simulation has been for a hybrid floating wind-wave platform being developed by Floating Power Plant (FPP). The Katanes site, located off the north coast of Scotland, has a potential capacity of 300MW.
Hybrid floating wind-wave platforms are an emergent technology for deep-water sites that produce a stabilised flow of energy to the grid. The development of floating wind technologies is seen as vital to meet the UK’s net zero carbon commitment targets by 2050. One of the synergies of combining wind and wave energy is to use wave energy extraction to create a ‘harbour effect’ behind the platform that will enable safer access in more severe seas.
Dr Stephen Wyatt, Director of Research and Disruptive Innovation at ORE Catapult, commented:
With floating wind we can push renewable energy into the deeper water sites that are off-limits to traditional fixed-bottom wind farms. As such, this is a vital technology for reaching our net-zero targets by 2050. Innovative hybrid floating platforms could take this technology further providing greater and more consistent electricity generation, and opportunities to use different O&M strategies for the combined wind-wave system.
ORE Catapult’s simulations identified ways of configuring site operations that increase the anticipated annual revenue significantly. The improvement in profitability is due to a combination of increased device availability and a more efficient maintenance schedule based on the actual wind and wave conditions at the site. The optimised maintenance schedule means less wasted time in harbour and a better utilization of service vessels and crews.
Anders Køhler, CEO at Floating Power Plant (FPP), added:
We are offering the only offshore-tested and grid-connected wind-wave device in the world today, and this track record has been crucial in attracting the capital we needed for our sites in Scotland and Spain. We now have the world’s most detailed modelling of a hybrid floating site to inform our future operations, and this tool represents a boost to us and the entire community of developers and researchers in this area.