VIDEO: Installing the North Sea’s First Semi-submersible Floating Wind Turbine
Bourbon has completed the installation of the first floating wind turbine at the Kincardine site, 15 km off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.
The contract was awarded to Bourbon by the Spanish construction group Cobra. Vryhof acted as mooring solutions partner and Principle Power designed the semi-submersible floating foundations called WindFloat. The project was initiated in May 2018. The delivery of the operational scopes, including towing the floater to Dundee, pre-laying the four-leg mooring system and installing the fully assembled wind turbine on site, was optimised by taking advantage of the local supply chain.
Kincardine Offshore Windfarm
Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is located south-east of Aberdeen approximately 8 nm (15 km) from the Scottish coastline. The location was chosed because it provides suitable water depth for a floating offshore wind demonstrator development (approximately 60-80 m). The project involves the installation of eight 6 MW wind turbine generator (WTG) units connected by inter-array cables with the resultant power being exported directly to the onshore grid by two 33 KV export cables.
At the beginning of November, Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd. (KOWL) confirmed that first power from the project offshore Kincardineshire, Scotland, began flowing in September, clearing the way for the full 50 MW build-out of the project by 2020. Once completed, KOWL will be the world’s largest floating wind farm.
KOWL is a company formed by Pilot Offshore Renewable Energy (PORL) and Atkins Ltd. PORL is an Aberdeen based joint venture between MacAskill Associates Limited and Renewable Energy Ventures (Offshore) Limited. Both are Scottish companies with extensive experience in the wind industry. KOWL has been established in order to develop, finance, construct, operate, maintain and decommission the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm.
Principle Power’s WindFloat foundation allows offshore wind projects to be sited in locations with the most abundant wind resource, independent of water depth, while introducing new methodologies for installation and O&M that reduce risk, cost and environmental impact.
Rapid Progress in Floating Offshore Wind
Regarding floating offshore wind energy, Vryhof expects rapid future technological and commercial progress towards pre-commercial and the first (modest) commercial-scale windfarms. Most probably already within two to four years.
Watch a video of the installation of the first semi-submersible floating wind turbine below.