Equinor designs new floater for 1-GW ScotWind project

The Wind Semi floating turbine foundation concept. Image source: Equinor (www.equinor.com)

November 1 (Renewables Now) - Norwegian energy major Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) said Monday that it has designed a new floating wind turbine foundation with plans to use it in a 1-GW wind farm project in Scottish waters.

The Wind Semi, a semi-submersible foundation, would be deployed if Equinor’s proposal is successful in the ScotWind offshore leasing round, the Norwegian company said.

The floater was designed with dependability and simplicity in mind, with Equinor saying it has introduced a passive ballast system and left out bracings, heave plates and complicated nodes that are prone to fatigue cracking.

With a harbour draught of less than ten metres (32.8 ft), the Wind Semi’s turbine integration can be assembled at most industrialised ports, according to Equinor.

The new concept is such that it will enable industrial standardisation and maximise opportunities for local supply chains, the company added.

“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,” said Sonja C. Indrebø, Equinor’s vice president of Floating Offshore Wind.

If realised, the 1-GW project would be 30 times bigger than the 30-MW Hywind Scotland, the UK’s and Equinor’s first floating wind farm. At this scale, Equinor’s new project would already meet the UK government’s target to deliver 1 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2030.

Equinor's announcement arrives just days after the UK government said it would allocate GBP 160 million (USD 218.8m/EUR 189m) to support the construction of new large-scale floating offshore wind ports and factories in the country.

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.368/EUR 1.181)

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