The partners in the Salamander floating wind project have signed a memorandum of understanding with Ocergy to evaluate how its foundation technology can be deployed for the project
In April 2021, Simply Blue Energy announced it had joined forces with Subsea 7 to form a joint venture to develop the Salamander floating offshore wind project off the northeast coast of Scotland. Subsea 7 has a minority interest in the pre-commercial-scale project.
The aim of the project is to provide a ‘stepping-stone’ to bridge the gap between current demonstrator projects and commercial-scale projects leased in the ScotWind process.
The project is intended to provide a firm pipeline for the Scottish supply chain and to demonstrate the ability to achieve a significant amount of local content, in line with or beyond the Offshore Wind Sector deal ambitions, paving the way for securing additional local content within the later commercial-scale developments.
“From project inception, the foundation manufacturing and assembly was identified as a key element to secure higher local content,” said Simply Blue Energy. “The Salamander project has thus endeavoured to take a different approach to that of previous developments, leading to a focus on the supply chain within Scotland as the primary means of evaluating the direction of technology selection for project engineering.
“This process has identified Ocergy’s OCG-Wind concept as having significant potential for commercial-scale deployment within the capabilities of the current Scottish supply chain. By supporting the development of new foundation technologies, the Salamander project intends to provide a template for the successful construction of floating offshore wind projects within Scotland.”
By working with Ocergy, the partners in the Salamander project hope to realise access to twice the number of Scottish port facilities compared to some other floating concepts due to its lower draft requirements. They also hope to realise a scalable fabrication and assembly process, suitable for commercial-scale deployment and achieve a more than 30% reduction in fabricated steel mass, reducing the cost of energy while allowing the potential for local fabrication.
Ocergy has recently announced the completion of their Series A investment round from both Norwegian industrial group Moreld Ocean Wind (MOW) and Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), the venture arm of the American oil and gas company.
With a prototype of the technology enabled through Department of Energy funds and planned as part of the Shell-OceanWinds Mayflower offshore wind project, the Salamander project is a further step in the demonstration of their ground-breaking foundation technology.
Simply Blue Energy chief executive Sam Roch-Perks said, “The heart of the OCG-Wind design philosophy is around building in modules for rapid assembly. With space a limitation at Scottish ports, the ability to assemble foundations at speed means there is a reduced requirement for quayside real estate to deliver a high throughput of complete units. By packaging the fabrication of the structure into smaller scopes we hope to enable the maximum local content for Scotland and the wider UK.”
“For some time, the Salamander team has been positively engaging with the Scottish supply chain to ensure the project is designed appropriately, taking local constraints into account” said Mr Roch-Perks. “Our technology roadmap us focused on developing a low-cost semi-submersible concept centred on existing and proven industrialisation techniques, modularity and low-draft that is able to leverage significant local supply chain content. The timing and size of the Salamander project fits perfectly in our technology development pathway and is a necessary step to de-risk the gigawatt-scale projects we expect to participate in at the end the decade.”
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