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Design for Floating Offshore Substation to Support Floating Wind Farms

floating offshore power substation
Flaoting offshore substations would support the next generation of wind farms (Semco)

Published Sep 26, 2022 7:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

As wind farms grow larger and further from shore and convert from fixed bottom to floating, new salutations will be required to support these projects. Drawing on their experience in floating structures for floating wind turbines and for major floating oil and gas topsides, Denmark’s Semco Maritime and ISC Consulting Engineers and with Technip Energies’ affiliate Inocean based in Norway and Sweden are proposing floating offshore substations. According to the companies, it is possible to build reliable and cost-effective floating substations to support future floating wind farms.

“As floating wind farms develop in terms of size, distance from shore, and water depth, the need for a floating offshore substation as a key element of the transmission asset is becoming vital,” said Tommy Flindt, Senior Director, Technology & Market Development, Renewable Energy, Semco Maritime. “There are many technical risks to manage. By merging Semco Maritime and ISC’s two decades of successful track record with offshore substation with that of Inocean’s two decades as a naval architect for floating structures, we believe we are the right team to manage and control these risks.”

The team reports it has developed a reliable, cost-effective, and scalable floating offshore substation concept for the market to help clients in their maturation, development, and construction phase of floating offshore wind projects. Floating wind turbine technology is, in general, well understood in the market whereas floating substations are still a concept. A substation layout has been developed to fit the shape of a 3-column stabilized substructure using known technologies.

ISC designed the world’s first fixed bottom substation for an offshore wind farm and since 2003 ISC has provided detailed engineering designs for more than 45 offshore substations. The companies believe their new concept can provide an important solution to support the development of the next phase of offshore wind farms.