Saipem (MIL: SPM) has joined forces with Siemens Energy to develop a “cutting-edge technology solution” for the offshore wind sector.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the two firms will come up with a concept design for a 500 megawatt (MW) high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) floating electrical substation.
Floating offshore substations, installed in deep water, offer several advantages such as a lighter substructure and an easier and asset-light installation in challenging conditions.
They are also cheaper to decommission when the wind farm reaches the end of the line.
Saipem and Siemens Energy’s floating concept will be based on a proven semisubmersible substructure.
It will be designed to operate in the most extreme environments, with enhanced stability, and can be scaled up as required.
Moreover, the design will address the industrialisation phase, as it can be adapted to fabrication and assembly infrastructures worldwide.
The floating substation could go some way to reducing the cost of floating wind, eventually helping the technology to reach parity with fixed-bottom.
Italian contractor Saipem will utilise its expertise in the engineering of complex and sustainable offshore structures to help deliver the concept.
That will be combined with Siemens Energy’s broad transmission portfolio, allowing the pair to develop a cutting-edge, standardised and scalable technology.
Fabrizio Botta, chief commercial officer at Saipem, said: “Our ambition is to take advantage of Saipem and Siemens Energy unique expertise, to jointly develop a cutting-edge floating design solution for offshore substations. The new concept will be an enabler to enhance offshore wind developments in deeper waters by lowering the overall infrastructure investment. This agreement further confirms Saipem ambition to strengthen its leadership role in the offshore wind market by delivering industrialised and standard solutions.”
Agustin Tenorio, vice president, transmission systems at Siemens Energy, said: “The new joint solution will significantly optimize critical technical parameters, such as weight, electrical efficiency, and asset longevity, thus lowering the production costs and enabling an unprecedented number of countries to benefit from large-scale offshore wind generation. This MoU is an integral part of Siemens Energy’s Net Zero strategy in scaling up its activities through technology partnerships for specific markets, which complements the well-established turnkey business we already execute today.”