Partners secure US prize to develop offshore windfarm plans

Image credit: Principle Power/Ocean Winds

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Principle Power and Aker Solutions to take forward plans for the development of offshore floating windfarms off the West coast of the United States.

The two companies, working together as the FloatHOME consortium, were chosen as the winner for the second phase of the US Floating Offshore Wind Readiness (FLOWIN) prize. The award consists of $450,000 cash prize, along with $100,000 in technical assistance from the DOE National Labs.

Prize money is being used to advance the consortium’s WindFloat manufacturing, supply chain, and deployment plans in the US market.

Seth Price, vice president of technology and innovation at Principle Power, said: “We are honoured to be selected for the FLOWIN Phase 2 award. We were able to extract highly valuable feedback from the supply chain to better enable project successes on the first wave of US West Coast projects. We are building a new industry – not just a singular project.

“Previously in Phase 2, we combined our insights from 75MW project in operation using WindFloat and feedback from domestic supply chain partners. The work has allowed the consortium to plan for maximized automation, streamlined project execution plans, and optimisation of final assembly processes for serial manufacturing of low-risk solutions.

“We look forward to further engage with the US floating wind communities in Phase 3 as we optimize our design and delivery solutions for the unique challenges of the US floating wind market.”

Christoffer Valstad, senior vice president, renewables US, at Aker Solutions, added: “At Aker Solutions, we have decades of fabrication and execution expertise having delivered large and complex structures to the offshore industry since the 1980s. Utilising our own yards, supply chain network and international footprint, we have the skills, know-how and infrastructure needed to optimize the design, engineering, and construction of floating offshore wind projects globally.

“The FLOWIN prize has provided us with a unique opportunity to explore ways to serialize fabrication, drive further innovation and reduce costs for floating offshore wind.

“FloatHOME consortium has engaged both large-scale fabricators and smaller supply chain partners to assess their existing capacities and specific manufacturing requirements. This collaborative approach has enabled the consortium to build and evaluate various scenarios for serial production and assembly of WindFloat foundations to support the vision of using purpose-built facilities to produce subcomponent modules and efficient assembly within American ports.”

According to the consortium, these insights will be instrumental in supporting the next stage of the competition, which includes detailed designs for dedicated new facilities, redevelopment of ports, optimisations in platform design for manufacturability, and design engineering refinements to lower cost and increase domestic content for floating wind projects in the United States.

The aim is to foster a competitive environment that supports domestic infrastructure, the supply chain, and workforce, thereby promoting the sustainable growth of floating wind in the US market.

The Biden-Harris administration wants to deploy ambitious 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035.

To achieve these targets, it is vital to engage the entire value chain in building capacity to deliver these volumes. By advancing to the next phase of the FLOWIN Prize, the FloatHOME consortium says it is set to play a “pivotal role” to ensure the industry meets these objectives on time and on budget, while maximizing benefits to local communities and minimizing the carbon footprint throughout the supply chain.

The FLOWIN Prize will award a total prize pool of $5.75m, plus vouchers for technical support from DOE national laboratories to transition floating platform technologies to serial production, while fostering competitive domestic supply chains.

The second round of the FLOWIN prize awarded $450,000 to each consortium, who are now eligible to compete in the third phase of the prize.

Main image: The 25MW WindFloat Atlantic Project in Portugal. Image courtesy of Principle Power/Ocean Winds

Read next: Blackpool construction firm embraces solar self-sufficiency

Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.

Related posts

DCW 2024: There’s no substitute for the human presence

GCCA agrees decarbonisation deal with UN body

Next government urged to do more on skills and mental health

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Read More