- A FEED study into the design of an offshore wind floating platform system demonstrator
- Tension Leg Platform designed in partnership with Alstom 150-6MW Haliade turbine
Floating turbine technology is of strategic importance to any future UK offshore wind strategy.
This project drew upon earlier ETI studies. These showed that floating foundations could be very attractive, by allowing the UK to access higher wind sites that are reasonably close to shore. Our analysis suggests that floating offshore wind has the medium to long term potential to deliver attractive energy costs.
The Glosten Associates, a US-based navel architecture and marine engineering firm designed a tension leg platform (TLP) floating system demonstrator through a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) Study.
This has shown that UK offshore wind energy costs could fall to below £85MWh by the late 2020s, with further reductions possible as the technology matures. The floating platform is designed to provide high capacity factors in wind speeds exceeding 10 metres per second in water between 50 and 1200 metres deep. The TLP technology is suitable for water depths from as low as 55 metres (much lower than conventional TLP developed from oil and gas experience) up to several hundred metres. Floating foundations could enable the UK (and other countries) to develop a wider range of offshore wind sites that are relatively close enough to shore, rather than being limited to sites suitable for foundations fixed to the seabed.
The findings and deliverable reports from this project have been made available to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult the technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy to inform their ongoing work in the area of offshore wind.