Italian engineering firm Saipem has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Siemens Energy to develop a floating electrical substation concept for the offshore wind sector.

The two companies will focus on creating a design for a 500MW high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) floating substation that can be used for offshore wind farms.

Saipem chief commercial officer Fabrizio Botta said: “Our ambition is to take advantage of Saipem and Siemens Energy’s unique expertise, to jointly develop a cutting-edge floating design solution for offshore substations.

“The new concept will be an enabler to enhance offshore wind developments in deeper waters by lowering the overall infrastructure investment.

“This agreement further confirms Saipem ambition to strengthen its leadership role in the offshore wind market by delivering industrialised and standard solutions.”

Based on a semisubmersible substructure, the new floating substation concept will have the potential to resist extreme environmental conditions and can be scaled up according to clients’ requirements.

The partnership will combine Saipem’s knowledge of sustainable offshore infrastructures with Siemens Energy’s broad transmission portfolio.

The partners expect that the floating substation will have the potential to reduce the levelised cost of energy of floating wind farms.

Siemens Energy Transmission Systems vice-president Agustin Tenorio said: The new joint solution will significantly optimise critical technical parameters, such as weight, electrical efficiency and asset longevity, thus lowering the production costs and enabling an unprecedented number of countries to benefit from large-scale offshore wind generation.

“This MoU is an integral part of Siemens Energy’s net-zero strategy in scaling up its activities through technology partnerships for specific markets, which complements the well-established turnkey business we already execute today.”

Earlier this year, Siemens Energy and Prysmian Group secured a £1.5bn ($1.74bn) contract from the NeuConnect consortium to provide cabling works and converter stations for a subsea power link between Germany and the UK.