Published on October 15th, 2014 | by James Ayre6
Iberdrola Investing Over €1 Million Into Offshore Floating Wind Energy Project
October 15th, 2014 by James Ayre
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.
“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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