Floating offshore wind is generating increasing interest in the offshore wind industry. But although several pilot projects are (literally) ‘off the ground’, commercial deployments remain a number of years away. Offshore wind with foundations fixed to the seabed has performed admirably in shallow water sites of less than about 50m; costs have been reduced, AEP has been increased and supply chains have been developed. Much of the global resource is however in deeper waters and this is where the next opportunity lies; floating offshore wind could be the key to unlocking this opportunity. Floating offshore wind certainly addresses a number of inherent issues – such as reducing the amount of offshore activity and avoiding the use of heavy-lift vessels. However, as things stand, floating offshore wind remains a more costly option than the fixed equivalent. Over the coming years, we expect that much of this cost will be removed as deployments increase and learning is implemented. The biggest opportunity for cost reduction is in the floating structure itself where the cost per tonne remains high for most concepts. Where deep water is close to shore, floating wind farms can also offer considerable transmission costs savings.
Scottish Energy News 26th Aug 2016 read more »
Japan’s ambition to lead in the development of floating wind turbines is facing stiff competition from rivals in Europe — most notably from France — as companies and governments press to lower costs and prove the technology can rival other sources of clean energy. At the center of Japan’s effort is a demonstration project off the coast of Fukushima north of Tokyo. The largest floating turbine project of its kind at the moment consists of a 2-megawatt turbine, a 7-megawatt turbine, a substation, and a 5-megawatt model, which was towed into place last month and is expected to begin generating power soon.
Bloomberg 25th Aug 2016 read more »