Aker Solutions to Pilot Subsea Power Distribution System for Floating Wind

Subsea Collector (Credit: Aker Solutions)
Subsea Collector (Credit: Aker Solutions)

Aker Solutions has signed a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract with the Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway to pilot new subsea power system technology which has the potential to reduce costs and complexity of offshore wind farms.

The project will see Aker Solutions provide new power transmission technology, Subsea Collector, for the METCentre’s offshore wind test area which today consists of two floating offshore wind turbines, located 10km off the southwestern coast of Karmøy, Norway.

The test area will expand to seven floating offshore wind turbines from 2026.

Subsea Collector provides an alternative solution to connect multiple wind turbines electrically in a star configuration instead of the traditional daisy chain pattern, allowing for more flexibility in offshore wind farm architecture and construction.

The design also allows for reduced cable length per turbine and park, as well as less vessel time and installation costs. Initial findings support total cost savings on a 1 GW floating wind farm of up to 10%, according to Aker Solutions.

The main parts of the Subsea Collector is a 66kV wet mate connection system provided by Benestad and subsea switchgear with supervisory control and data acquisition by subsea power and automation alliance partner, ABB.

Installation will be carried out by Windstaller Alliance, an alliance between Aker Solutions, DeepOcean and Solstad Offshore. Aker Solutions will also provide the static export cable to shore.

“Combining Aker Solutions’ vast subsea experience with our partner’s proven control and connection systems, we aim to solve challenges currently facing the offshore wind sector. We hope this project will result in a field proven system that can benefit the industry for many years to come,” said Jo Kjetil Krabbe, executive vice president of Power Solutions at Aker Solutions.

“This pioneering project will contribute to shaping the infrastructure in future large scale floating wind parks. The technology is under development, and the project demonstrates how Norwegian subsea expertise from the oil and gas industry drives innovation forward within floating offshore wind on a global scale,” added CEO of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind, Arvid Nesse.

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