The pioneering Salamander floating wind project off Scotland, being developed by Orsted with Simply Blue and offshore oil contractor Subsea7, has tapped Ocergy for lead-off engineering on foundation design for the 100MW “stepping-stone” project.

Ocergy will adapt its OCG-Wind concept, a shallow-draft steel semisubmersible built around three cylindrical columns connected mechanically with trusses to a central axis, for the North Sea development, which has evolved to include hydrogen production following Orstedtaking a 80% stake in April with a view to bidding into Scotland’s INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) leasing round this year.

The floating units, designed to be mated with 10MW-plus turbines, are planned to be fabricated at Global Energy Group’s redeveloped Port of Nigg in the Scottish Highlands based on an MoU signed in May, for installation at the project site located 35km off Peterhead in some 100 metres of water.

“From inception, the foundation manufacturing and assembly was a crucial element for us in delivering higher local content,” Huw Bell, Salamander’s project director, said. “OCG-Wind technology meets our requirements.

“We aim to provide access to double the number of Scottish port facilities over some traditional floating concepts due to lower draft.” He added the plaform’s “scalable fabrication and assembly process [is] suitable for commercial scale deployment as well as decreasing fabricated steel mass by around a third”.

Ocergy CEO Dominique Roddier said: “Salamander is of paramount importance for our consortium and the floating wind industry. This project will demonstrate that the premise of delivering one unit per week, week after week is achievable. This is the last major industry hurdle before the deployment of large, commercial-scale, floating wind projects.”

ERM’s pioneering Dolphyn electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production concept will be used for at Salamander, with Scotland Gas Networks signed up to explore channelling H2 output from the array into its gas infrastructure as part of its future “decarbonisation roadmap”.

Ocergy was chosen for the role after an assessment by the developer consortium that ranged over the floating wind concept’s design, technical performance, fabrication, assembly, operations and installation on Salamander. The feasibility study will now progress to so-called pre-FEED [front end engineering design].

Floating developments made up 15GW of 25GW in offshore wind leases awarded under Scotland's landmark ScotWind leasing round earlier this year. Consultancy DNV calculates floating projects currently make up over 15% of the total offshore wind deployment in the pipeline for switch-on by mid-century, equal to some 264GW of the 1,750GW slated to be installed.