RES Offshore to help on PelaStar

US floating wind turbine designer Glosten Associates has tapped RES Offshore to provide consultancy support for its pioneering demonstrator project off the southwest coast of England.

Glosten’s PelaStar tension leg platform (TLP), which will be fitted with a 6MW Alstom Haliade 150 turbine, is to be trialled at the deep water Wave Hub demonstrator facility off Cornwall, backed by the UK government-industry body the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

RES Offshore will provide “services to Glosten including construction advice and operational strategy development, engineering design, due diligence and turbine procurement management services, as well as liaising with Alstom.

“Cost effective deployment of floating turbines will significantly increase the potential for renewable energy generation from deepwater sites,” says RES Offshore chief executive Chris Morgan.

The project, being set up in 50 metres of water in the Celtic Sea, aims to accelerate development and deployment of Glosten's latest iteration of its floating foundation technology.

Glosten’s PelaStar TLP design has evolved from a three- to a five-arm model moored by synthetic fiber tendons developed for “optimal performance while minimising material and installation cost”.

TLPs, an import form the offshore oil industry, fix a floating hull to the seabed with stiff “tendons”. The concept is seen as having particular potential for making the UK’s vast deepwater wind resource economically viable.

The ETI project is currently in the Front End Engineering Design (Feed) stage, with the goal of construction and deployment of the demonstration unit as early as 2015.

The £30m ($47m) Wave Hub, a grid-connected "socket" on the seabed 25km shore, was first envisaged for wave-energy technology testing, with several proto-devices signed up for plug-in in the coming years.

The Haliade-Pelastar TLP, which would be the first wind-power unit on site, would use four berths at the 48MW government-owned facility.

The flagship Haliade 150 was recently installed on a jacket foundation at the Belwind wind farm off Belgium.