Floating wind technology is building on over three decades of innovation in offshore wind to achieve three fundamental requirements:

  • Stable and cost-effective structures which can be constructed locally and rapidly
  • Systems which can accommodate the natural motions of the floating structure
  • Sufficient reliability and redundancy for floating wind to become an integral part of the energy network

In recent years, a large number of floating wind structures have been launched on the market and some have begun to be evaluated in demonstration projects. As experience in technology grows, the focus will move increasingly to designs and manufacturing techniques which utilise local capabilities and maximise construction rates.

Whilst floating wind structures are designed to minimise motions, these can never be eliminated completely and must be accommodated. The array cable, which carries the power generated by the turbine, must be configured to avoid the cables stretching. The mooring system must be designed to both restrain the structure and accommodate the continuous cyclic loading of waves. Perhaps most critically, all of these systems and components must have sufficient durability to stay on station for 25 years or more.

The combined experience of oil and gas and fixed offshore wind is helping to validate the required component life, but continued design evolution is expected as demonstration projects progress and the behaviour of floating wind is better understood.

In the following short film, Brian McFarlane, Head of Offshore Wind Development, talks about how innovation and collaboration is enabling commercial scale deployment.

External Activity and Industry Collaboration

External activity and industry wide collaboration is critical in accelerating the development of floating wind technology, which is why we're supporting a number of Joint Industry Projects (JIPs).

We're actively working with a variety of groups, companies and initiatives to accelerate growth in the floating wind sector and maximise collaboration at all levels.