Mainstream Renewable Power Looking To Achieve World’s Cheapest Electricity From Offshore Wind

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The developer behind the planned 448 megawatt (MW) Neart na Goithe offshore wind energy project off the coast of eastern Scotland, Mainstream Renewable Power, is aiming to deliver the cheapest offshore wind power price in the world — via the use of a couple of innovative new technologies and strategic solutions.

While the company’s previously secured 15-year electricity supply contract (secured through the government) has been public knowledge for some time now — along with the agreed upon price of £114.39/MWh — the means of meeting this price profitably have remained something of an unknown until now.

There’s not really much mystery to it, though (even if there is a bit of uncertainty). Reportedly, Mainstream Renewable Power will simply be utilizing a couple of innovative solutions to cut down on costs/inefficiencies.

To be specific, the company will be doing away with the use of large and heavy offshore substation platforms and instead use two wind turbine foundations to support the transmission module — this will allow for the reduction of substation capital spending costs by as much as 30%, reportedly. Here’s a quick explanation of how a typical offshore substation platform works:

In addition, a new system (Boom Lock, developed by High Wind) allows for the installation of wind turbines even on very windy days — thereby reducing the amount of time spent waiting for appropriate installation conditions, and thereby reducing costs as well.

Taken together, these measure should help to notably reduce installation costs.

The general manager of the company providing the installation vessels for the project, Bart De Poorter, recently made note of the fact that offshore wind developers should begin trying to think strategically about the technologies being used, as a means of trimming costs.

“Logically, wind farms are being built in areas where there is a lot of wind. That’s why it makes sense to use the right tools to maximize on the workability during periods of strong winds and, at the same time, maintain the highest level of safety.”

Sensible comments. It’ll be interesting to see how this all ends up.

Image Credit: Mainstream Renewable Power


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James Ayre

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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