Iberdrola spearheads floating wind consortium

In: Windfarms
Iberdrola is spearheading a consortium that plans to install a two floating offshore wind demonstration turbines. Iberdrola is spearheading a consortium that plans to install a two floating offshore wind demonstration turbines. Plans include one turbine with a capacity in the region of 10 MW in Norwegian waters and a demonstration project in Spain. The consortium also includes Core-Marine, Cener, IHC, Zabala Innovation Consulting, Olav Olsen, Kvaerner, UnitechSubsea, Met Centre, EDF, DTU and DNV-GL.

The project in Norway, known as ‘FLAGSHIP,’ will see the design, fabrication, installation and operation of a demonstration floating offshore wind turbine using a 10+ MW turbine and a semi-submersible floating concrete structure based on the OO-Star Wind Floater. The floater will be tested in the North Sea, at the Met Centre located in Norway.

FLAGSHIP is being developed as part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The main objective of the project is to help reduce the levelised cost of energy of floating offshore wind to a range of between 40-60€ MWh by 2030, driven by economies of scale, competitive supply chains and a variety of innovations.

The process of securing necessary grants is now underway. Iberdrola hopes to sign a grant agreement worth approximately €25 million with the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency of the European Commission during the second half of 2020. Fabrication of the floating platform could start in the second quarter of 2021, with installation in first quarter 2022.

Further plans for a floating demonstration project in Spain are also moving forward. Specific details will be finalised and published this year, but the project aims to utilise a different technology to that planned in Norway, and would see fabrication undertaken in the Basque Country, with deployment in waters around the Canary Islands or in the Basque Country.

Iberdrola global managing director for offshore wind Jonathan Cole said, “Iberdrola aims to be a leading player in the floating offshore wind sector, and the demonstration projects that we are developing will ensure we are ready for engaging in large-scale commercial floating wind projects in the near future.

“There is tremendous potential globally for floating technology, as it will open up new markets where water conditions restrict the development of traditional offshore projects. We are not tied to any one technology, and we have had a team actively analysing all developments in the sector for many years. Now is the right time to move from research and development in to putting turbines in the water and increasing our knowledge.”

The company has one of the largest offshore wind pipelines, with more than 10 GW of secured sites in development, including the East Anglia Hub with more than 3 GW, and is actively exploring further opportunities worldwide. Iberdrola is undertaking studies to analyse the possibility of installing additional floating wind turbines at some of these project sites and the company is actively interested in processes for large scale floating offshore wind projects in different locations such as the US and Scotland. A total of €13.26 billion (39%) out of Iberdrola's total €34 billion global investment plan up to 2022 earmarked for renewables with offshore wind outlined as a cornerstone of the company's strategy.

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