Energy business Statoil has announced that initiatives from consultant Atkins, offshore contractor Modec and shipbuilder Ulstein will be taken to the next stage of its offshore wind innovation challenge.
The Hywind Installation Challenge was launched by Statoil to look at ways to improve the assembly and installation of floating wind turbines.
The challenge follow son from the Hywind demonstration project which was launched in 2009 as the world’s first full scale floating offshore wind turbine. A 30MW pilot park is planned for installation off the coast of Scotland for 2017 but Statoil believes that further innovation is needed to make the concept viable worldwide.
The solution proposed by Atkins was to attach multiple turbines to a reusable transportation frame to reduce the draught of the structures to enable them to be towed the site. According to Atkins, this allows the floating foundations to be assembled in regions where a deep water inshore location is not readily available, or where a deep water inshore location exists but the tow-out route is draught-restricted.
Ulstein’s proposal was for a specialist ship to enable the turbines to be installed in one piece rather than assembled on site. Modec proposed a fork lift system to transport the turbine in one piece and hold it in position while it is attached to the floating foundation.
Statoil will now work with the companies to further develop the concepts.