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Equinor unveils ScotWind floating foundation design

© Supplied by EquinorEquinor ScotWind floating

Norwegian energy giant Equinor (OSLO: EQNR) has unveiled the floating wind foundation design it will use if its successful in ScotWind.

The Wind Semi concept will enable industrial standardisation and maximise opportunities for local supply chains, the company said.

It has been designed with flexibility, specifically to allow for fabrication and assembly based on capabilities in specific areas.

If Equinor secures seabed acreage through the ScotWind offshore leasing round, it will implement the technology as part of its plans for a 1 gigawatt (GW) floating wind farm.

Sonja Indrebø, Equinor’s vice president of floating offshore wind, said: “We are ready to develop the next generation, large-scale commercial floating offshore wind in Scotland.

“By leveraging our twenty years of floating offshore wind experience and innovations, we plan to develop GW-size floating projects in one single phase. Implementing large scale projects will accelerate Scotland’s energy transition to net zero.

“At 1GW, this project would be over 30 times bigger than Hywind Scotland, the UK’s and Equinor’s first floating project and have the potential to not only position Scotland as a leader in deep water technology, but also create opportunities for both existing suppliers and new entrants to the offshore wind sector.”

© Supplied by Equinor
Sonja Indrebø

To ensure that the technology can be deployed cost effectively whilst maximising local benefits, Equinor has developed a set of design principles and solutions that are applicable across floating concepts.

Equinor installed the first ever floating offshore wind turbine in 2009, and operates Hywind Scotland (30 MW), the world’s first floating wind farm, off the coast of Peterhead.

Since it began production in 2017, the development has consistently achieved a higher capacity factor than other UK wind farms.

Ms Indrebø said: “Hywind Scotland proved that the floating concept works, and as we move to the next generation floating offshore wind projects, we need to demonstrate that floating offshore wind is deployable at scale, in different geographies cost effectively whilst bringing local benefits.

“We have seen the journey of fixed bottom offshore wind, and combined with our long experience in floating, we can take learnings into account as we design and innovate the concepts for full-scale GW floating wind farms.”

The Wind Semi has several features making it “particularly suited for harsh waters”, and solutions that can maximise the opportunities for the Scottish supply chain.

That includes increased dependability, a simpler, more robust design and an ability to be assembled at most industrialised ports.

Indrebø added: “Scotland can be in the forefront of this exciting technology. We asked ourselves how we can achieve industrial standardisation and maximise local content opportunities to create additional and sustainable long-term value from floating offshore wind projects. With a design-based approach we’ve used our experience and gone right back to basics to incorporate this focus in the initial concept design.”

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