An ambitious four-year, €31 million, floating offshore wind project has been approved for testing off the west coast of Ireland. The project is known as AFLOWT (Accelerating market uptake of Floating Offshore Wind Technology).
Courtesy of EMEC
The floating turbine will be deployed at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) off the west coast of Ireland. Deployment is currently planned for 2022. By testing at AMETS, the technology developed in AFLOWT will be “proven in the harshest of North West Europe’s offshore environments, readying it for application at any deep-water offshore environment across the world.”
The project is led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) working in partnership with SEAI, SAIPEM and other organizations in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK.
The partnership hopes to demonstrate the survivability and cost-competitiveness of a floating offshore wind technology. The project will also support the development of an active supply chain in the region which has some of the strongest wind and ocean resources in the world.
Commenting on the choice of offshore wind, Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director at EMEC, said,“Over the past 15 years EMEC has hosted more ocean energy technologies at its real sea test berths in the UK than any other facility in the world. We have developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can now be transferred to the testing and demonstration of floating offshore wind to help it make the most cost effective and rapid transition to commercialization.”
Stefano Porcari, Chief Operating Officer of Saipem’s E&C Offshore Division and CEO of SAIPEM SA, added,“This project represents for us a unique opportunity to prove our Floating Wind technology in severe environments. Together with our consortium partners, we will work on the feasibility and the cost effectiveness of this floating offshore wind project for a low carbon emission energy environment.”
EMEC will manage the project from the UK. Funding for the project has been secured from Interreg North West Europe.