What is ‘manufacturability’ and why is it so important?

Designing technology that delivers cost effective electricity generation is one thing but manufacturing that technology and deploying it at industrial scale is quite another.

Whilst we have always been focussed on ‘manufacturability’ when it comes to the design of our floating offshore wind platform, PelaFlex, we have also been working hard to develop manufacturing processes and protocols, and we have been doing that in close collaboration with supply chain.

For example, we have been working with RWE, Wales’ largest energy generator, to develop a detailed project plan for the deployment of our technology in the Celtic Sea. That has involved working with the entire supply chain, from steel fabricators and welders through lifting and assembly suppliers to specialist coatings suppliers, and the ports themselves. Importantly, we have been building their knowledge and experience into the manufacturing and deployment processes required to deliver PelaFlex at scale in the ocean.

We are building a supply chain ecosystem with the capability and capacity to deliver real world projects and do that as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. That includes some of the biggest players in offshore fabrication, engineering and project delivery for the offshore wind energy sector. Partners who know our technology inside out and can deliver it at scale.

This work has 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 that 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.