Reducing Cost and Risk in Floating Offshore Wind

Ore Catepult Figure 1In recent years, floating wind has gradually matured as a technology, progressing from being the subject of academic research to a handful of full-scale, stand-alone prototype projects (Hywind in Scotland, Principle Power in Portugal and the FORWARD project in Japan), to the development of multiple pre-commercial arrays. Technological advances in floating wind will open up opportunities to exploit the abundant wind resource in deeper water sites where it is currently not possible to deploy fixed-bottom foundations, making this an important area of research for the offshore wind industry. This article analyses the costs and risks of the three most common types of floating wind structure and compares them to those of a fixed-bottom monopile wind farm. It also provides an outlook on the technology’s future and notes areas where further research is needed.

By Robert Proskovics and Gavin Smart, ORE Catapult, Glasgow, UK

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