In an effort to maintain its leadership in offshore wind power generation and to advance technologies for offshore floating wind farms, the UK government has announced an additional grant of $42 million to 11 projects working on the technologies. The government expects private industry to match its contribution to advance the technologies needed to place turbines in deep-sea areas where wind strength is highest and most productive for power generation. .
This program focuses on deploying wind farms in deeper water than conventional turbines to increase energy capacity in the UK. foundation solutions adapted to the challenges of offshore sites.
“By stimulating development now through the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme, the costs of building and locating floating turbines in deep water areas will come down faster,” said UK Energy Minister Greg Hands. He pointed out that the new scheme comes on top of nearly $250 million announced by the government in 2021 for offshore wind, saying the effort “develops the UK supply chain and supports the plan’s focus by ten points from the Prime Minister to provide 1 GW of energy by floating”. offshore wind by 2030.”
Largest individual prize of nearly $14 million is awarded to a pioneering installation and operation and maintenance technology being developed through a two-and-a-half-year project undertaken by technology partners SENSEWind , Glosten and Subsea Micropiles, as well as six companies focusing on delivery. . According to the companies, the SENSE (Self-Erecting Nacelle and Service) concept “aims to disrupt the conventional approach to installation and operation and maintenance by eliminating the need for special cranes and allowing the whole complete rotor nacelle to be installed and maintained directly on site.”
“The SENSEWind system is designed to evolve at the speed of wind turbine innovation,” said Patrick Geraets, CEO of SENSEWind. “Special cranes and crane vessels will be prohibitively expensive as we attempt to keep the levelized cost of energy on a downward trajectory both onshore and offshore. This system solves the impending problem of installing and maintaining massive and increasingly remote wind turbines. The larger the wind turbines and the further they are from the shore, the more valuable the SENSE system becomes.
The SENSE PelaStar project will include SENSEWind’s turbine self-installation system, Glosten’s PelaStar Tension Leg Platform floating foundation and Subsea Micropile anchors. The SENSE concept will be demonstrated with a fully operational 2 MW floating wind turbine scheduled for installation in late 2023.
“Incremental advancements based on yesterday’s technology will never allow us to meet our global deployment goals. The pace of innovation at the project development and wind turbine manufacturer level requires nothing less than a revolution in the supply chain…and visionary leadership to make it happen,” said Julian Brown , wind industry veteran and non-executive director of SENSEWind.
The company’s modeling predicts that its concept would reduce the levelized cost of electricity by up to 6% for high-tower onshore wind and up to 9% for floating offshore wind. The demonstration project is designed to test and confirm the technologies and their benefits at the Scottish project site, planned to be Kincardine’s test site off Aberdeen.
The other major government grant goes to Copenhagen Offshore Partners, SSE Renewables, Maersk Supply Service Subsea and Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group to develop and demonstrate new mooring system technologies, cable protection, floating turbine base design and an advanced digital surveillance system.
Other projects that will receive funds from the new government program include projects focusing on the development and testing of electrical cabling systems, a system designed to support substation equipment connecting floating wind farms to the energy grid, a hinged wind turbine column designed to reduce construction, installation, and maintenance costs, an anchoring system that will secure the cables of floating turbines to the seabed, and a trimaran mounting system for wind turbines. One of the projects deals with wave energy and aims to develop a floating foundation with a small footprint and an integrated wave energy generator.