By 2050, global installed floating wind capacity is expected to reach 264 GW. Project sanction will require levelized cost of energy (LCOE) being significantly below current levels, but also to demonstrate that the life, property, and the environment are safeguarded.
Most class societies were established in late 1800’s as independent organizations addressing technical risks in shipping industry. In 1980’s classification model has been successfully extended to the offshore oil and gas, resulting in significant safety improvements and cost savings. Most recently, the same model has been successfully applied to offshore fish farms.
During the last decades classification has been transforming towards fully risk and data driven solutions. By using fleet-wide knowledge, significant cost savings are generated and passed to the asset owner and operator. This makes classification ideally suited to floating wind.
The paper discusses areas of class society involvement in certification of floating wind foundations, including mooring system and wind turbine interface. Risk based integrity management in harsh environments the floating wind platforms are expected to operate are addressed. Potential impact is illustrated using examples from the past where such benefits were realized, including using fleet data to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Required adaptation of classification concepts to specifics of the floating wind are also discussed.
The paper also shares examples of class society role and activities beyond certification and assurance. We hope this will help appreciate the overall value of classification provides and encourage the industry to tap into benefits from its broad knowledge and experience.