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Are Floating Turbines The Future For Offshore Renewables?

Posted: 19/10/2016

Changes are afoot in the offshore renewables industry it would seem, being driven by the likes of Statoil, which is intending to build five 6MW floating turbine devices as part of a pilot wind farm near Buchan Deep, just off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

These devices can be positioned in deeper waters up to 150m, which means that they're able to take advantage of vast resources of energy further offshore where wind speeds are typically steadier and higher, The Engineer reports. Projects using devices of this kind are also in the pipeline in the US, Japan and Europe.

Those involved in such projects are also likely to find that installation of floating wind turbines offshore is easier and cheaper than using fixed devices because the latter requires heavy-lift vessels to assemble and install them on the seabed. Where floating devices are concerned, they can be assembled at port-side and then towed to their location offshore using tugs, which are cheaper and more readily available.

Statoil now intends to locate its devices in depths of between 95 and 120m at Buchan Deep, with each one anchored to the seabed using three mooring lines.

Spokeswoman for Statoil Elin Isaksen, commenting on a pilot device that's just been installed in Norway, was quoted by the news source as saying: "The experience from the Hywind Demo has been used to further optimise the floater motion controller, so that the movement can be even better controlled. This will become increasingly important as the turbine size increases."

Statoil itself is working towards being recognised as one of the most carbon-efficient gas and oil producers in the world, striving to reduce climate emissions and benefit societies and communities on a global scale.

When changes in the industry occur, it's vital that you review your emergency response procedures. If you need help in this regard, call us here at HFR Solutions CIC today.