PivotBuoy, X1 Wind’s new Single Point Mooring (SPM) system with the potential to significantly reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy, has received €4 million in EU funding through the Horizon 2020 programme. A consortium of nine partners, led by X1 Wind, will install a prototype of the PivotBuoy at the test site of the Plataforma Oceánica de las Islas Canarias (PLOCAN).
This new anchoring system aims to reduce the weight of the platform by up to 80% and overall costs by 50%, which would make floating wind competitive. The aim of the project is to validate the benefits of the PivotBuoy system and other key innovations to reduce installation, operation and maintenance costs, paving the way to achieve €50/MWh in commercial-scale wind farms.
The technology will be able to be installed in deeper water than most current floating solutions, opening up hundreds of locations that were previously technically or commercially inaccessible. The system combines the advantages of Single Point Mooring (SPM) systems with those of Tension-Leg Platform (TLP) systems and a more efficient downwind structural design, allowing for a radical weight reduction in floating wind turbine structures compared to current spar and semi-submersible systems.
The consortium will integrate a partial scale prototype of the PivotBuoy into a floating downwind wind platform designed by X1 Wind at the PLOCAN test site. The system will be installed in 2020, where other innovations related to assembly and installation that would have important implications for the sector will also be validated.
The project consortium combines experienced industrial partners and research and development organisations from the offshore wind, marine and oil and gas sectors. It consists of nine partners from six different countries: X1 Wind, ESM, WavEC, PLOCAN, EDP, INTECSEA, DTU, DNV GL and DEGIMA. The project will officially start on 1 April and will run for 36 months.