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Published on October 15th, 2014 | by James Ayre

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Iberdrola Investing Over €1 Million Into Offshore Floating Wind Energy Project

October 15th, 2014 by  


iberdrolaThe noted multinational utility company Iberdrola will be investing more than €1 million into a new floating offshore wind energy project to be located in the UK, as per recent reports.

The new project is being developed with the aid of researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and the public-private organization Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. The project is also being partially financially backed by Innovate UK — no doubt with the aim being that the gains from this R&D project can be utilized elsewhere in the future.

“Floating offshore wind turbines have been a fun and exciting prospect for the wind industry for several years. They sound exotic and costly, but the point is actually that they can cut offshore wind power costs,” Sustainnovate notes. “First of all, the wind turbines and their foundations can be built almost entirely on land, and then they can be towed out to sea to finish the installation. That beats having to bring heavy equipment out to sea to install large foundations in the sea bed and then turbines on top of them. Secondly, this makes the construction of wind farms in deeper waters, where winds are stronger and steadier, much more practical.”

On Monday, we featured a German company, GICON, that is developing the platform for a floating wind turbine pilot project going into place in the Baltic Sea next year. GICON’s head of offshore wind stated that the platform and system should be able to cut the cost of a conventional offshore wind turbine foundation by about 30%.

There are a number of companies and organizations working on such technology, with a handful of pilot projects already rolled out across the world.

floating_offshore_wind_turbines_IberdrolaBack to the development of the new project from Iberdrola, the project is reportedly aiming to create a generalized but very reliable model that can then be employed again elsewhere.

“The project will entail designing a state-of-the-art floating wind turbine model and an innovative system for installation, to be implemented on a subsequent basis at a number of sites chosen in advance, where water depth ranges between 60 and 100 meters,” stated a recent Iberdrola press release.

“The TLPWIND project aims to create a highly reliable model for offshore wind farms that will allow to drastically shorten installation times and cut costs. Both of these aspects are crucial to the future of offshore wind power.

“The foundations to be designed will be moored to the seabed using tensioned cables, which will in turn almost entirely restrict the movement of the platform on which the offshore wind turbine will be placed. The dimensions and weight of the steel used in these platforms will be optimised to the maximum, thereby bringing down construction costs.”

While the technology certainly seems to have a fair amount of potential, as always, until it’s put into practice in the real world it’s hard to say for sure what will become of it.

Image Credit: Iberdrola 
 


 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.



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