A View on Floating Wind
Many years ago I witnessed several engineers studying on designs of what later became the first Floating Wind Turbine: Statoil’s Hywind.
That was 2009. A small number of designers had been looking at floating technology as the foundation of offshore wind turbines. They were in no hurry as the technology proved too costly compared to fixed offshore wind foundations. They were encouraged by studies that proved the strongest winds are found in water depths beyond reach for fixed foundations.
Some of these pioneers proved their technology and with wind turbine capacities increasing and costs of technologies and processes falling, the tide turned and in 2011 the next floating wind turbine was installed offshore Portugal, later to be followed by floaters offshore Japan that had been developed following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
We have to admire the mostly small companies for believing in their concepts and technology. Some concepts never left the drawing board, others came to a halt after tank tests due to lack of financing. One could claim that the companies that eventually made it chose to use proven floater concepts such as the Semi-submersible, Barge, TLP and Spar and didn’t shy away from incorporating offshore industry experience in their development plans.
There are several highly potential concepts in play today and even more companies looking to enter this market with their technology and experience. This is where Quest Floating Wind Energy with its immense network within the supply chain is reaching out to bridge the various disciplines and services involved in this excitingly fast developing industry.
With the first commercial floating wind farm -Hywind Scotland- online, some other projects in various stages of development offshore Scotland, the pre-commercial French projects and Empire Wind announced in the US, this market is accelerating. Quest FWE will monitor and report the developments, the new technology and designs and provide the stakeholders a platform for exchange of information, making a contribution to bring this industry to the level where the world will see large-scale commercial floating wind energy production.
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