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The second phase of the Carbon Trust-led Floating Wind Joint Industry Partnership has launched a series of projects to address common technical challenges relevant to commercial-scale floating wind farms up to 1 GW capacity. The studies are part of the collaborative partnership between the Scottish Government and twelve industry partners, including EnBW, ENGIE, Eolfi, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, Kyuden Mirai, Ørsted, Shell, Statoil, Vattenfall, and Wpd Offshore.

The first project to kick off will be an investigation into the impact of increasing power rating of larger turbines on the scaling requirements of floating foundations. The Carbon Trust and industry partners have selected Rambøll to deliver the study, which will use 6MW, 10MW and 15MW turbines as a baseline to evaluate the potential cost savings from adopting larger next generation turbines.

The study will also engage with turbine manufacturers to assess the design requirements for turbines on floating structures. Gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between turbine performance and optimum foundation size will help to increase confidence in less conservative design requirements and identify opportunities for lower cost integrated designs.

Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) will lead a second study into heavy lift offshore operations during the installation and maintenance of floating wind farms. Commercial-scale floating wind farms will be in deeper waters where fixed methods of installation, for example using jack-up vessels, are not viable options. Identifying alternative methods is therefore a priority for the industry.

A technical panel consisting of heavy lift contractors will work alongside SHL to investigate the feasibility and technology development needs to conduct heavy lift operations offshore. This will include floating-to-floating lifts and innovative mobile solutions, such as climbing cranes.

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