Ocean Ventus has launched a low-cost, low-steel floating wind solution which has received Approval in Principle from DNV. It has a tubular design, and its main steel weight is approximately 3,000t for a 15MW turbine.
Offshore wind targets imply an eight-fold increase in installed capacity to 2030, with 32 GW of floating wind expected to be developed in the next decade. Floating wind is moving from the North Sea to global markets to serve the growing demand for renewable energy in areas with waters deeper than 60 meters.
However, foundations remain a bottleneck for the build-out of large-scale floating wind farms. Existing floating wind foundations are heavy, complicated, difficult to produce, and challenged by constrained supply chain capacity, says Ocean Ventus.
The company says its design saves up to 40% on steel costs and CO2 emissions. The Ocean Ventus floater can be mass manufactured using similar methods employed for monopile production, while modular construction allows for simplified transport on low-cost vessels. Assembly utilizes two purpose-built barges that can complete 50 floating units per location annually, minimizing use of quay space. Finally, the foundation is designed to work seamlessly with a patent-pending service vessel, enabling turbine maintenance offshore and eliminating the need to tow to shore.
To further reduce costs, Ocean Ventus plans to establish dedicated large-scale production facilities and is exploring the potential for a first factory in Norway. The factory will target production up to 50 structures per year and ramp up in 2028 for delivery to license rounds in key markets.
In March, Ocean Ventus completed a comprehensive test campaign at the SINTEF Ocean test facility in Trondheim, Norway. Tests were performed for a span of operational and extreme weather conditions with varying wind speeds and waves. In addition, towing tests were performed for several towing speeds and arrangements. The tests verified the superior motion characteristics and structural performance of the Ocean Ventus floater with a 15MW wind turbine generator.
Ocean Ventus was officially incorporated in 2022.