Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest wind power developers, is leading a consortium that aims to install a 10-MW plus floating turbine in Norway and plans to join a demonstration project in Spain
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.
The consortium also includes Core-Marine, Cener, IHC, Zabala Innovation Consulting in Spain, Olav Olsen, Kvaerner, UnitechSubsea, Met Centre in Norway, EDF in France, DTU in Denmark and class society DNV GL.
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 (US$44-66) MWh by 2030, driven by economies of scale, competitive supply chains and innovations.
After scoring maximum points in the evaluation phase, the process of securing necessary grants is now underway. On successful completion, Iberdrola hopes to sign a grant agreement worth approximately €25M with the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency of the European Commission during H2 2020.
Fabrication of the floating platform could start in Q2 2021, with installation in Q1 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.
In Spain the waters are generally too deep for traditional fixed foundations, so floating technology is crucial for unlocking the major potential that can be harnessed from offshore wind in the 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 we are developing will ensure we are ready to engage 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 to putting turbines in the water and increasing our knowledge.”
Iberdrola has been active in offshore wind for a decade and is now one of the world leaders in the sector. Currently Iberdrola has 739 MW in operation with West of Duddon Sands in the UK and Wikinger in Germany, 714 MW in commissioning with East Anglia One in the UK, and 496 MW nearing construction with the Saint Brieuc project in France.
The company also 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.