TetraSpar floating offshore wind project. Image by RWE.
TetraSpar Demonstrator, the project to demonstrate the TetraSpar floating wind foundation fitted with a 3.6-MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbine, has been commissioned and is now in operation off the coast of Norway, the project owners said on Wednesday.
The floating platform, anchored at 200 metre (656 ft) water depth at the METCentre test site, has been connected to the Norwegian grid. It will now commence its test phase to prepare for commercial floating wind projects.
The project is a partnership between Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA), TEPCO Renewable Power (TEPCO RP), a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TYO:9501), RWE AG (ETR:RWE) and Danish technology compan Stiesdal A/S, which developed the TetraSpar foundation concept.
TetraSpar is described as the world’s first fully industrialised floating offshore foundation. The partners say it offers leaner manufacturing, assembly and installation process, as well as lower material costs. For example, modules can be assembled at the quayside without welding or the need for special port facilities.
“All indications are that our key target, to accelerate the industrialization of floating offshore wind, can actually be met, not only at prototype level but at large scale,” commented Henrik Stiesdal, the Danish inventor and board chairman at TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS.
“Shell is committed to further develop the floating wind industry globally by providing technical and financial support to promising concepts such as Tetraspar,” said Thomas Brostrom, senior vice president renewables at Shell. “Ultimately, we hope to deploy floating wind technology globally and at large scale to enable further decarbonization of our customers’ activities and for society as a whole,” he added.
“The TetraSpar concept can be utilised in Japan’s natural conditions and enables the easy construction of regional supply chains thereby playing an important role as we aim to transition to renewable energies as baseload power sources,” noted Seiichi Fubasami, president of TEPCO RP.
Sven Utermoehlen, offshore wind head at RWE Renewables, said that TetraSpar’s industrialised manufacturing and assembly methodology are crucial for long-term cost reduction, adding that RWE’s involvement in the project has provided it with firsthand evidence about how the concept can be scaled up to commercial developments.