Aker Solutions has announced that it will pilot a new subsea power system for connecting offshore wind turbines at the Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway.  

The new approach will cut down costs and simplify the construction of offshore wind farms.  

Aker Solutions will supply the METCentre’s offshore wind test area with new subsea collector power transmission equipment.  

The offshore wind test area consists of two floating offshore wind turbines situated 10km off the south-west coast of Karmøy, Norway. 

The subsea collector uses a new electrical solution to connect with offshore wind turbines placed in a star configuration, rather than in the conventional daisy chain pattern.  

The new design enhances flexibility in wind farm architecture and can lead to substantial savings in cable length, vessel time and installation expenses.  

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Early estimates show potential cost reductions of up to 10% for a 1GW floating wind farm. 

The subsea collector’s main components include a 66kV wet-mate connection system from Benestad and subsea switchgear from ABB with supervisory control and data acquisition.  

It will be installed by the Windstaller Alliance, a partnership between Aker Solutions, DeepOcean and Solstad Offshore.  

Aker will also supply the static export cable to the mainland. 

Aker designed the new system based on the experience it gained working on subsea power solutions for subsea gas compression and floating offshore wind, such as that on Equinor’s Hywind Tampen.  

METCentre CEO Arvid Nesse stated: “This pioneering project will contribute to shaping the infrastructure in future large-scale floating wind parks.  

“The technology is under development, and the project demonstrates how Norwegian subsea expertise from the oil and gas industry drives innovation forward within floating offshore wind on a global scale.”  

Aker Solutions power solutions executive vice-president Jo Kjetil Krabbe stated: “The subsea collector is a great example of true industry collaboration. Combining Aker Solutions’ vast subsea experience with our partner’s proven control and connection systems, we aim to solve challenges currently facing the offshore wind sector.  

“We hope this project will result in a field-proven system that can benefit the industry for many years to come.”