The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (“Floating Wind JIP”) is a collaborative R&D initiative between The Carbon Trust and 14 leading international offshore wind developers: EnBW, ENGIE, Eolfi, E.ON, Equinor, Innogy, Kyuden Mirai Energy, Ørsted, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE, TEPCO, Vattenfall, and Wpd.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the JIP aims to investigate the challenges and opportunities of developing commercial-scale floating wind farms. Since its formation in 2016, the JIP has been delivered through two stages, each consisting of studies to outline the critical needs for the sector to reach cost parity with other energy technologies.
Stage 1 included analysis of future cost projections, technology barriers, and the policy support necessary to accelerate commercialisation.
Work streams in Stage 1 included:
- Policy & regulation - Outlining the policy & regulatory requirements for the floating wind industry.
- Cost sensitivity analysis - Assessment of the current and expected future cost of floating wind, including sensitivity attributed to changing environmental and technical parameters
- Technology & risk - Assessment of technology risk to develop, construct, and operate a floating wind farm, together with identification of key innovation needs
These projects identified several critical focus areas which need to be addressed in order to commercialise floating wind technology.
Building on the knowledge gained, Stage 2 was set up to undertake more detailed assessments of the key technology challenges. In particular, the objective of the second stage of the JIP is to overcome common technical challenges relevant to commercial-scale floating wind farms. The focus is on de-risking technology challenges that are common to multiple floating wind concepts, particularly challenges for large scale floating wind arrays.
A first phase of projects consisted of three studies:
- Electrical systems - Assessing the unique and novel electrical system challenges for commercial-scale floating wind farms
- Mooring systems - Evaluating challenges and opportunities for optimisation in mooring and anchoring systems
- Infrastructure & logistics: - Infrastructure requirements and logistical challenges for the construction and maintenance of floating wind farms
Each study evaluated the challenges posed in the construction and operation of a 500 MW floating wind farm consisting of 50 x 10 MW turbines. The assessments identified and prioritised critical challenges in each area to inform future R&D needs.
A second phase of projects is currently underway.
- May 2018 - New joint industry report highlights innovation needs to unlock a multi-gigawatt pipeline for global floating wind market
- April 2018 - Floating wind joint industry partnership to tackle dynamic export cables and asset integrity
- March 2018 - Joint industry project to investigate next generation turbines and heavy lifts for floating wind farms