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Iberdrola announces floating offshore wind projects

Published by , Assistant Editor
Energy Global,

Iberdrola is strengthening its position in the floating offshore sector with the development of two innovative demonstration projects.

The company will lead an international consortium that aims to install a floating turbine in excess of 10 MW in Norway, and is close to joining a further demonstration project in Spain.

The project in Norway, known as ‘FLAGSHIP’, will see the design, fabrication, installation and operation of a demonstration floating offshore wind turbine using a 10+ MW turbine and a semi-submersible floating concrete structure (OO-Star Wind Floater). It will be tested in the North Sea, at the Met Centre located in Norway. The international consortium includes companies and institutions from Spain, Norway, France, Denmark and Germany.

FLAGSHIP is being developed as part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. This EU Research and Innovation programme has nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The main objective of the FLAGSHIP project is to help reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for floating offshore wind to a range of between 40-60€/MWh by 2030, driven by economies of scale, competitive supply chains and a variety of innovations.

After scoring the maximum (15 out of 15) in the evaluation phase, the process of securing necessary grants is now underway. On successful completion, Iberdrola hopes to sign a grant agreement worth approximately €25 million with the ‘Innovation and Networks Executive Agency’ of the European Commission during the second half of 2020. Fabrication of the floating platform could start in 2Q2021, with installation in 1Q2022.

Further plans for a floating demonstration project in Spain are also moving forward. Specific details will be finalised and published in 2020, but the project aims to utilise a different technology to that planned in Norway and would see fabrication undertaken in the Basque Country, with deployment in waters around the Canary Islands or in the BIMEP (Basque Country). In Spain the waters are generally too deep for traditional fixed foundations, so floating technology is seen as crucial for unlocking the major potential that can be harnessed from offshore wind in the country.>

This is a progression in strategy for Iberdrola’s offshore wind plans. Currently Iberdrola has 739 MW in operation with West of Duddon Sands in UK and Wikinger in Germany, 714 MW in commissioning with East Anglia One in UK, and 496 MW nearing construction with the Saint Brieuc project in France.

As it stands Iberdrola also has one of the largest offshore wind pipelines, with more than 10 gigawatts GW of secured sites in development, including the East Anglia Hub with more than 3 GW, and is actively exploring further opportunities worldwide.

Iberdrola is undertaking studies to analyse the possibility of installing additional floating wind turbines at some of these project sites and the company is actively interested in processes for large scale floating offshore wind projects in different locations such as the US and Scotland.

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