A pair of videos from Statoil, the Norwegian state oil company, on building their first operational floating wind farm. You lose nothing by muting the awful muzak soundtracks.
Moving the underwater spars from Spain to Norway:
More interesting, mating the turbine to the foundation:
Statoil have had an experimental floating turbine operating for a while. This is the first proper wind farm, to be installed off Scotland, not far from the golf course Trump has been vainly trying to protect from visual pollution by similar nasty things. The farm is small by current offshore standards, only five turbines. But they are full size, 6 MW each. This is at the lower end of the current offshore size range, which goes up to 8 MW. Vestas’ latest model is 9.5 MW. Onshore turbines stop at around a third of that, because of the logistics.
Even with such small numbers, Statoil are still getting economies of scale: the transport ship for the foundation spars carries two. The floating crane, the really expensive piece of gear, assembles the five turbines one after the other in a sheltered fjord, presumably in much less time than it would need to emplace the same number on fixed foundations.
The next step is to tow the turbines across the North Sea, secure them with chains in 90m of water, and connect up the power cables. These operations should take much less time than building fixed foundations.
Will it work? Continue Reading…