Scotland-based Iberdrola Engineering and Construction (IEC) has demonstrated a new design of floating turbine at the TLPWIND project in collaboration with the UK-based power plant consultant Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
The project saw the development of a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) turbine foundation, which provides a lightweight and stable solution for floating wind.
ORE Catapult’s investment and financial analyst Gavin Smart said: "Floating wind is likely to be an extremely important technology as we aim to drive down the overall cost of renewable energy.
"TLPWIND is a novel solution and could unlock potential in deeper water sites, while delivering a platform for growth."
According to the collaboration, new technology for future offshore wind developments is almost ready for a commercial test.
Scotland’s University of Strathclyde has used the latest facilities to simulate conditions that might be experienced off the north east coast in a bid to conduct scale model tests to prove the dynamic potential and seakeeping abilities of the platform.
Replicating conditions of up to 16m waves and 49m/s wind gusts on a 1:36 scale model, the tests were able to prove the concept would work successfully in real-life conditions.
University of Strathclyde’s professor Sandy Day said: "This technology has been shown to work and it has been shown to reduce cost.
"We carried out rigorous testing of the scale models and found even under stressful conditions, the platform is both stable and robust."
Using larger turbines, the TLPWIND project is expected to offer costs as low as £88/MWh by 2030 and £64/MWh by 2050.
Image: The TLPWIND project saw the demonstration of a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) turbine foundation that would provide a lightweight and stable solution for floating wind. Photo: courtesy of ORE Catapult.