By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Iberdrola – the Spanish power giant which owns Scottish Power – has teamed up with Strathclyde University and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) catapult to design a state-of-the-art floating wind turbine model.
Using an innovative system for installation, the floating turbine would be anchored in water depths between 60 and 100 metres.
The TLP WIND project is a new initiative with a budget allocation in excess of €1 million.
This initiative is supported by Innovate UK and aims to promote the installation of offshore wind farms in areas of the United Kingdom where it is not currently feasible because of water depth.
The initiative has been included in the Infrastructure for Offshore Renewables Collaborative Projects programme – co-funded by Innovate UK – which aims to optimise the supply chain in the offshore renewables sector by promoting new projects.
TLP WIND aims to create a highly reliable model for offshore wind farms that will allow to drastically shorten installation times and cut costs.
As the foundations will be moored to the seabed using tensioned cables – which will almost entirely restrict the movement of the floating platform – it will be possible to carry out most of the installation operations on land and then transfer the infrastructure out to sea, simplifying the operations involved and reducing costs.
A spokesman for Iberdola said: “Strathclyde University boasts one of the best hydrodynamic testing tank facilities in the UK which will be of key importance in ensuring the success of the TLP WIND project.
“This initiative is further proof of our commitment to offshore wind energy – a sector where we are developing major projects to build new facilities and working on enhancing our technology by carrying out R&D studies.”