Equinor to launch top-notch floating offshore wind design in Scotland


Equinor, the leading global developer in floating offshore wind, will launch a top-notch design for this technology in Scotland. This Friday, the company released a statement announcing it selected Scotland to launch gigawatt size floating offshore wind technology to advance its energy transition.

Firstly, the design is Equinor’s Wind Semi, a semi-submersible wind turbine foundation that increases the flexibility of the asset. The design includes a series of features that makes floating turbines particularly suited for harsh waters.

Some of those features are a passive ballast system that simplifies the substructure, so the asset has less risk of failure; a flat design that is free from bracings, heave plates and complicated nodes that are prone to fatigue cracking; and a simpler assembly method that allows parts and blocks fabricated locally to be attached to the asset.

Moreover, this flexibility of parts and assembly is part of the company’s strategy to deploy this technology cost-effectively while maximizing local benefits. About the matter, Sonja C. Indrebo, Equinor’s vice president of Floating Offshore Wind, said. “We plan to develop GW-size floating projects in one single phase. Implementing large-scale projects will accelerate Scotland’s energy transition to net zero.”

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Equinor still analizing the best locations to launch floating offshore wind projects

She also commented. “At 1GW, this project would be over 30 times bigger than Hywind Scotland.” The UK’s and Equinor’s first floating project. She further commented that the project will have the potential to “not only position Scotland as a leader in deepwater technology but also create opportunities for both existing suppliers and new entrants to the offshore wind sector.”

On the other hand, Hywind Scotland is a 30-megawatts first-ever floating offshore wind farm. Equinor has operated it since it started operations in 2017. Since then, the project has achieved a higher capacity factor than other UK wind farms. Which demonstrates the expanding potential of floating offshore wind.

Therefore, the simpler assembly method and the flexibility of building and installation that the new projects will feature will create further opportunities for the supply chain to thrive. This is, in fact, the core of the new design by Equinor. “with a design-based approach, we’ve used our experience and gone right back to basics to incorporate this focus in the initial concept design,” says Indrebo.

Finally, the locations for the projects are still unknown. Still, the company said is considering the best sites for their water depths; conditions around shipyards and ports, and the specializations and capacities of the local supply chain.

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