We’ve written about floating wind turbines a few times here on CleanTechnica. Key benefit of these is that they can go in deeper waters, where there’s often more consistent and stronger winds. Key downside: they are still costly. But a new £25 million ($40 million) investment from Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is looking to cut those costs.
The investment is in a floating wind turbine platform I’ve written about before. ETI, a public-private organization, is now looking for someone to develop, install, and commission a completely operational, full-scale demonstration project. It wants the demo project to be in place by 2016.
Note: video above is Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive, talking about ETI and floating wind turbines in 2010.
“Offshore wind must be affordable and cost competitive with alternatives and although large, floating turbines will have high capital costs, they can access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the west coast of the UK which overall brings down the cost of electricity generation for the long term,” Dr Clarke said for the announcement today.
“Our studies have shown that access to high wind areas which are close to shore should be an attractive investment compared to some existing UK sites which are further from the coast in areas of lower wind. We also expect there is likely to be a considerable global market for floating wind turbines which can be developed in the UK.”
The UK is especially likely to benefit from floating wind turbines, as it has near-shore, deep-water areas with good wind resources.
The ETI news release on this reports that the demonstration project “will be operated for at least two years to show it can generate high levels of electricity, be maintained without using specially designed vessels and to verify the predicted technical and economic performance.”
A Request for Proposals (RfP) was released today. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 6, 2012 and the closing date is January 27, 2012.
Here are some more details:
The deadline for the notification of intention to submit a proposal is 6 January 2012 and the closing date is 27 January 2012. A project briefing event will be in December 2011 for organisations wanting to know more about the project.
Participants chosen to take part in the project will be capable of providing an offshore wind turbine in the 5MW to 7MW range that can be installed on the foundation.
Source: Energy Technologies Institute