Delivering industrial scale floating offshore wind and looking to FOW 2023 in Aberdeen

A lot has happened in the last couple of years.

Rising energy prices have put a huge squeeze on household budgets and continue to drive inflation. The war in Ukraine has further accentuated the situation and pushed ‘energy security’ up the political agenda. Against this backdrop governments around the world still need to deliver on ambitious net zero targets and increasingly they are building in the delivery of offshore and floating offshore wind into those targets.

The pressure is well and truly on.

The kind of industrial scale developments that will be required to meet the UK’s capacity targets mean farm developments will need to be delivered quickly and the assembly and deployment of a single floating platform will need to take around a week. Using multiple ports and existing infrastructure whilst maximising local content delivery will accelerate project timescales and keep costs down. Floating platforms represent the second most significant cost centre after the turbine itself.

Marine Power Systems recognised these challenges early in the design process of its flexible floating offshore wind platform and provides a solution that maximises access to local ports and minimises the need for infrastructure development. The platform’s low mass reduces quayside requirements, including load bearing capacity and storage needs, and the shallow draught system removes the need for expensive dredging. Multiple launch options support a distributed port model for faster industrial scale deployments and reduce specific port requirements. The modular nature of our technology and structurally efficient tetrahedral design means our floating platform has only seven primary steel components and three distinct parts.

We are already at a high stage of technical readiness and working with major energy developers on engineering design studies for specific sites, where they are looking to deploy our PelaFlex floating offshore wind platforms. Each site has different water depth, sea conditions, distance from port and local supply chain so this kind of study is critical to reducing risk and uncertainty and optimising the final design. It provides better clarity on customer requirements, including both the technical and commercial aspects, as well as the key components that will deliver a successful and sustainable project. Through this approach we are developing stronger relationships with energy developers and our supply chain partners.

This work has also helped us develop a more robust model for the delivery of our technology. Through the use of advanced data, analytics and modelling techniques, traditionally used in the financial and insurance sector, we have built a detailed model covering over 30 parameters to help understand different project scenarios and how that plays out in terms of time and cost. This means we can very accurately forecast the rate at which we can deploy our platform and the cost per platform deployed at that rate.

This is extremely valuable for the energy developers we are already working with, and we have already proved that early involvement in a project can pay significant dividends, through reducing project risk and increasing the overall level of project certainty.

Furthermore, that same model can be applied to projects elsewhere in the world. The model considers a full range of variables, including transport times, distance from port, turbine size, environmental factors such as water depth and sea conditions and even the effect of different weather variables on deployment timescales. It will create best and worst-case scenarios based on a particular situation.

This adds a huge amount of value to our product and service offering and one that is already one of the services we offer, thus supporting our energy developer customers in their acquisition of seabed and helping them design and develop better real-world industrial scale floating wind projects.

Martin Carruth, Commercial Director, MPS

We will be heading to Aberdeen for the Floating Offshore Wind 2023 conference. If you want to learn more about our flexible floating platform and how it makes the rapid deployment of industrial scale floating offshore wind possible, please get in touch or come and find us on stand B30.

Full conference programme here