RWE, Sarens, and Tugdock Collaborate on Innovative Floating Wind Deployment Study
Posted 04/10/2023 14:56
Renewable energy leader RWE has announced its funding of a comprehensive study aimed at exploring the quayside offload and launch procedures for two distinct types of floating offshore wind platforms – one composed of steel and the other of concrete. Additionally, the study will focus on integrating next-generation wind turbine generators onto these platforms, all with the goal of maximizing local supply chain opportunities.
To optimize the use of local port infrastructure, such as the deepwater ports of Port Talbot and Milford Haven in Wales, the study will assess the feasibility of this innovative solution at the Port Talbot facility, operated by Associated British Ports and currently undergoing upgrades to support the manufacturing, assembly, and integration of floating offshore wind turbines. The insights gained from the study, building upon previous research conducted at the Port of Milford Haven Marine Simulator, will guide future activities at other suitable ports within the region.
This study will evaluate the incorporation of Sarens' established crane and barge technology in combination with Tugdock's pioneering submersible platform, which employs a steel frame and patented air lift bags. This technology can serve as additional buoyancy or a submersible platform for lifting and launching heavy marine structures, boasting an impressive load capacity of up to 25,000 tonnes. Its modular design allows for easy transport by road and makes it an ideal candidate for supporting the deployment of commercial-scale floating wind.
The aim is to address the logistical challenges posed to ports accommodating the large-scale deployment of floating offshore wind projects. A range of land and marine equipment solutions will be considered for maneuvering structures into the water, offering innovative solutions to the rapidly growing floating offshore wind industry.
RWE, a major player in offshore wind, is actively participating in the Crown Estate’s UK Round 5 seabed auction with the goal of securing at least 1 gigawatt of floating offshore wind capacity in the Celtic Sea, an area rich in wind resources along the coasts of South Wales, South West England, and South East Ireland.
Philippa Powell, the Celtic Sea Project Director at RWE, expressed their commitment to identifying local suppliers to support the potential multi-billion pound investment in the region, emphasizing the importance of innovation as a key driver for unlocking the Celtic Sea's offshore wind potential.
Beyond the Celtic Sea, RWE's global ambition is to develop, build, and operate cost-competitive commercial-scale floating projects. The company is actively engaged in two significant demonstration projects and has secured a commercial-scale floating offshore wind lease off the California coast. RWE is also exploring floating wind opportunities in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Americas.