February 13 (Renewables Now) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA), Innogy SE (ETR:IGY), and Stiesdal Offshore Technologies A/S (SOT) have taken the final investment decision (FID) on a EUR-18-million (USD 20.4m) floating foundation demonstration project off Norway.
The partners will test the TetraSpar floating foundation concept by SOT, which they believe has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of floating offshore wind. Testing is to take place at the Marine Energy Test Centre (Metcentre) near Stavanger in Norway in 2020.
It was announced today that Shell has doubled its share in the project to 66% from 33%, while Innogy retains 33%. The remaining 1% in the newly founded project company will be held by SOT. This will be its first full-scale demonstration project.
Dynamic stability tests on a true-to-scale model have started in December, using the wave-wind channel at the University of Maine in the US and the wave tank at FORCE in Denmark. Danish firm Welcon A/S is manufacturing the large floating prototype this year. A 3.6-MW direct-drive offshore wind turbine by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) will be mounted on the foundation before the whole unit is towed to the test site in the North Sea, moored to the seabed with three anchor lines, and hooked to the grid.
The demonstration project will bring detailed, practical insights into the construction, installation and operation of the TetraSpar concept, in addition to detailed performance data.
“Shell is working to grow our renewable power business and sees great promise in floating wind technologies that could change the face of the offshore wind industry over the next decade. We want to help accelerate this change by sharing our offshore expertise with our partners in order to progress innovative solutions such as TetraSpar,” said James Cotter, Project Manager Shell. Earlier this week it was announced that Makani, a wind energy kites developer, has entered into a partnership with Shell to adapt Makani’s technology to offshore environments.