Japanese FPSO specialist MODEC says it is working with partners to develop a solution that will reduce the overall cost of floating offshore wind turbines.
For some time, floating offshore wind has been something of a niche, but now full-scale demonstrators are in the works, and bigger players – including companies such as MODEC that have traditionally focused on oil and gas – are taking note. Evolving floater technologies will enable wind farms to move from coastal installations to more windy areas further offshore where they can obtain higher energy efficiency.
Leveraging its experience with floating solutions for the offshore oil and gas industry, MODEC says it is now involved in a research and development project with Toyo Construction and Furukawa Electric that aims to adopt a tension leg platform (TLP) concept instead of the catenary mooring which is being demonstrated in Japan and elsewhere.
Taking advantage of platform stability by TLP, the partners intend to develop a low-cost next-generation platform and mooring system with structural reliability required for a floater to be mounted with a large capacity wind turbine of over 10 MW, which is expected to be a common size in the actual business application, and durable submarine power transmission line system.
In addition, comparing with catenary mooring, the area occupied by mooring lines in the sea can be significantly reduced, so the negative impact on fisheries and ship operations can be minimized, and excellent social acceptability can be realized, MODEC says.
The research and development project has been officially adopted by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and it will be carried out for two years until March 2022, by assigning TLP including mooring system to MODEC, mooring foundation design and offshore construction to Toyo Construction and subsea power transmission system to Furukawa Electric.