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Developing Floating Substations to Support Offshore Wind Installations

substations for floating offshore wind instalaltions

Published Jun 23, 2021 7:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

The growth in offshore wind installations and the efforts to expand the projects into new, more challenging locations require the development of new technologies to support the planned growth for the sector. BW Ideol, which is developing floating offshore wind installations and support through an investment by BW Offshore, signed a memorandum of understanding with Hitachi ABB Power Grids for an industry-first collaboration on developing scalable floating substations to support the development of profitable floating offshore wind farms with high-capacity wind turbines.

While floating offshore wind is viewed as the next frontier in offshore wind power, substations will be an essential part of the infrastructure. The power is transmitted by cable from each wind turbine to the offshore substation, where it is stepped up to a higher voltage and transferred to the onshore power grid.

“We are accelerating the delivery of a market-ready floating substation offering and solution via this unique collaboration,” says Paul de la Guérivière, Chief Executive Officer of BW Ideol. “It brings together two market and technology leaders to create a standardized and scalable solution for all floating offshore wind power requirements.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will provide modular, scalable, compact substation packages for installation on BW Ideol’s shallow-draft floating platforms. Both companies have worked closely together for several years to co-create a standardized and modular solution that addresses market requirements and the unique demands of operating in the most challenging environmental and seabed conditions.

With BW Ideol’s unique shallow draft solution, the companies said that the floating substations will also be able to be implemented with bottom-fixed wind farms to mitigate challenging seabed conditions or challenging offshore installation operations. The substations will comprise transformers, switchgear, and other high-voltage products specially developed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids for floating offshore platforms.