Winners of 2nd Phase of Wind Prize Bring Floating Offshore Wind Closer to Fruition

Floating offshore wind energy has huge energy potential—2.8 terawatts in the United States, to be exact. That is more than double current U.S. electricity consumption. The White House aims to begin tapping that potential with its current goal of deploying 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.
Winners of 2nd Phase of Wind Prize Bring Floating Offshore Wind Closer to Fruition
Graphic by Besiki Kazaishvili, NREL

In order to meet that goal, developers will need large turbines—perhaps the largest manmade structures ever built—that can float over high-wind areas of the ocean that are too deep for today's fixed bottom offshore wind turbines.

But bringing together the design, manufacture, supply chain, and transportation components required to deploy these sizable floating offshore wind structures may be one of the biggest challenges in the clean energy transition. That challenge is exactly what the competitors in the American-Made FLoating Offshore Wind ReadINess (FLOWIN) Prize are tackling.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has just announced the winners of Phase Two of the prize, narrowing the field to five competitors with innovative ideas for streamlining the deployment of floating offshore wind energy. Each winning team was awarded a cash prize of $450,000 and a $100,000 voucher that can be used for technical support at a DOE national laboratory as they continue to refine their designs.

The FLOWIN Prize, which is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was designed to inspire solutions to some of the biggest supply chain and execution challenges faced by offshore wind energy in support of the government's interagency Floating Offshore Wind Shot. Competing teams began with a concept for a floating offshore wind energy substructure; in the last phase, they worked to develop a pathway to produce and assemble the structure.

The following teams made the most progress in developing a plan for mass production and assembly of floating offshore wind energy platforms—they are eligible to compete in Phase Three of the prize:

  • FloatHOME (Emeryville, California) — FloatHOME’s triangular platform, WindFloat, now in its fourth generation, provides deep-water stability through unique design features, including a damping system to absorb wave excitation movement. This platform has been fully modularized to enable differing execution plan options, allowing for streamlined manufacturing and adaptable installation.
  • PelaStar (Seattle, Washington) — PelaStar’s floating platform is a lightweight tension-leg platform design that minimizes environmental impacts while maintaining cost savings as well as manufacturing and installation flexibility.
  • Technip Energies (Houston, Texas) — Technip Energies’ INO15 design is a semisubmersible, three-column floating platform. This design can be assembled at ports at low cost and is robust enough to withstand harsh operating environments.
  • Tetra Triple-One (Boston, Massachusetts) — The Tetra Triple-One floating platform uses a building-block arrangement, which involves fully producing the parts needed in an industrialized manufacturing environment and then transporting them to the assembly site. This makes portside construction possible for a range of platform configurations, turbine sizes, and site conditions.
  • WHEEL U.S. (Coral Gables, Florida) — Incorporating tanks for buoyancy and balance, the ultrastable WHEEL floating platform design can temporarily act as a barge platform, allowing it to be assembled with the wind turbine near shore and towed to sea. It is compact in size to reduce both costs and carbon footprint.

These teams will now move on to the final prize phase, during which they will complete location-specific implementation pathways for domestic manufacture and deployment of their floating offshore wind energy technologies. At the end of Phase Three, up to three winners will receive a $900,000 cash prize.

The FLOWIN Prize is administered by NREL in partnership with the Oceantic Network on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office in support of the interagency Floating Offshore Wind Shot.

Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).