Groundbreaking £145k Study on Gigawatt-Scale Floating Offshore Wind Installation

(Image credit: Apollo)

In a significant advancement for the offshore renewable energy sector, Apollo and DOF, in collaboration with the ORE Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FoWCoE), have announced the results of a groundbreaking £145k study on gigawatt-scale floating offshore wind installation methods.

Installing a single, state-of-the-art floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) represents a milestone in offshore marine operations. However, gigawatt-scale floating wind farms will require approximately sixty FOWTs, which presents a monumental challenge of scale.

Apollo and DOF, in collaboration with ORE Catapult, undertook an extensive study to address the unique challenges of scaling floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) to a Gigawatt-scale wind farm, a task that has never been attempted before.

Drawing from a wealth of knowledge derived from installations of demonstrator floating wind arrays, fixed wind cables, and floating oil and gas production facilities, the study delves into the unique scale and challenges of floating wind installations. By exploring various installation scopes, including FOWT tow, mooring connection, and cable connection, the study sheds light on the complexities involved and identifies potential bottlenecks and risks.

“The £145k investment in this study underscores the importance of understanding the challenges of gigawatt-scale floating wind installation early on,” commented Apollo’s Offshore Renewable Director, Nigel Robinson. “By examining different mooring and cable system designs and their influence on the overall installation scope, we can make informed decisions that drive progress in the offshore renewable energy sector.”

DOF shared their enthusiasm for the study, with Karl Daly, VP Renewable, stating, “This study marks a pivotal advancement in deploying gigawatt-scale floating offshore wind projects. By focusing on practical vessel-specific case studies, we gain valuable installation insights that enable us to enhance scalability and efficiency. This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to refining the complexities of floating offshore wind.”

Sean Snee, Team Leader for Floating Offshore Wind at ORE Catapult, said: “This project is extremely valuable to the industry as it highlights an important topic of floating offshore wind installation at gigawatt scale. The insights and outcomes delivered in this report, demonstrate some of the methodologies proposed to be utilized for floating offshore wind, as well as highlighting some of the challenges to be overcome.”

The study, commissioned by the ORE Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence, is set to play a central role in shaping the future of the offshore renewable energy industry. As commercial floating wind projects are expected to be built at gigawatt scale in the coming decade, the insights provided by this study will be instrumental in driving progress towards a more sustainable energy future.

For more information and to access the full report, visit https://fowcoe.co.uk/industry-insights/reports/gigawatt-scale-cable-and-mooring-installation/

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