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Published: 14 July 2020 14 July 2020
The Carbon Trust has today released the latest summary findings from the Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP). The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project - Phase II summary report, outlines floating wind technology challenges prioritised by developers to accelerate the commercialisation of floating wind.
 
The findings summarise the work undertaken as part of Phase II of the Floating Wind JIP, across four main themes: turbine requirements and foundations scaling, heavy lift offshore operations, dynamic export cables and monitoring and inspection.
 
The report also includes new market projections from the Carbon Trust, forecasting 70GW of floating wind capacity installed by 2040.
 
Pilot and demonstration projects have shown the potential for similar, or even higher yields from floating turbines compared to bottom-fixed projects, as they can be situated in locations with higher wind resource. However, technology development challenges to commercialisation remain. Phase II projects addressed some of these, with key findings below.
 
A study on turbine requirements and foundations scaling, delivered by Ramboll, looked at the potential impacts of installing larger, next generation turbines on floating substructures. Aside from turbine towers and controllers, it found that only minor modifications would likely be needed for future turbines, and that the required relative primary steel, secondary steel and mooring mass decreases for larger turbines.
 
A heavy lift offshore operations study undertaken by Seaway 7 investigated the challenges associated with floating heavy lift offshore construction and maintenance operations for turbines up to 20MW. It found that the limited availability and high cost of suitable floating heavy lift vessels in the market at present is a barrier to cost effectively undertaking operations offshore. There is a need for vessels capable of undertaking the required heavy lift operations or alternative lifting solutions, such as climbing crane technology. 
 
A project, delivered by BPP Cable Solutions, investigated the challenges and assisted in the development of high voltage dynamic export cables required to transport power from floating offshore wind farms. Previous JIP studies have highlighted a lack of suitable dynamic cables currently available on the market. A competition was launched to support cable manufacturers develop and test suitable designs. Five cable manufacturers are currently being supported by the JIP to make these available as products for future projects.
 
A study focused on monitoring and inspection undertaken by Oceaneering, looked at the techniques for assessing the integrity of floating wind farms. It concluded that improvement is needed in both the collection of data and its usage to inform and manage asset integrity for floating wind farms, and in particular for subsea assets. For this there were no ‘quick win’ solutions, but techniques such as a digital twin approach, or unmanned vessels, could support cost effective solutions.
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