ANALYSIS: Floating turbines get ready to help wind think deeper

The US Department of Energy’s (DoE) announcement yesterday of $28m in backing for seven ground-breaking offshore wind projects may seem like small beer, but it has the potential to give the nascent floating-turbine technology sector the confidence it needs to leap to commercial maturity.

There are currently only a handful of utility-scale floating concepts undergoing testing off Europe and Japan.

But number crunching by GL Garrad Hassan suggests the economics of floating wind farms are becoming more attractive by the day, with construction of a 500MW development in 50 metres of water potentially costing as little as €0.128/kWh – “if steel prices were lower - and hull costs cut”.

The DoE grants will advance the cause of the two front-running designs – Norwegian energy giant Statoil’s Hywind spar buoy and US start-up Principle Log in to read complete article.

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