PelaStar tension leg platform

The Glosten Associates has secured a contract from the UK-based Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to design an offshore wind floating platform system demonstrator, using the PelaStar tension leg platform (TLP) foundation system.

Under the £4m contract, Glosten will complete the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study, commissioned and funded by ETI, as part of the £25m project.

The engineering firm will develop the PelaStar TLP prototype in partnership with French conglomerate Alstom, using its Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine.

Glosten has selected Ireland-based Harland and Wolff to build the demonstrator, and the TLP will be deployed at ETI’s preferred test site, Wave Hub in Cornwall.

Once the platform is complete, ETI will decide whether to invest an additional £21m in the construction and deployment of the TLP, which is expected be installed at the site by 2015.

ETI programme manager for offshore wind Andrew Scott said that the institute’s modelling work and previous engineering design projects have shown that floating offshore wind farms can play a key role in providing affordable, secure and sustainable energy for the UK.

"Offshore wind though must be affordable and cost competitive with alternative generation technologies," Scott added.

"The ability of large floating turbines to access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the coast of the UK could bring down the cost of electricity generation for the long term, helping to ensure that low carbon energy from offshore wind achieves costs comparable with other forms of low carbon generation."

ETI is a UK government backed consortium of companies, including BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell.

Image: Glosten will design an offshore wind floating platform system demonstrator using the PelaStar tension leg platform (TLP) foundation system. Photo courtesy of The Glosten Associates.