The world’s demand to decrease carbon dioxide emissions causes that energy production areas will substantially grow to offshore applications. The growth of offshore wind will be rapid.
Elomatic have innovated a solution where the complete wind turbine including float foundation can be built as on-shore construction. The unit including wind turbine installed is floated to offshore location and lowered to seabed as one complete unit. The steel structure used in the float foundation may offer new business potential for the traditional ship building industry used to handling bigger steel constructions.
The solution is to major parts eliminating noise to sea life from hammering used in monopile structures. At end of lifespan the whole unit can be re-floated and thus no waste is left in the environment and the used steel can be recycled.
While traditional offshore wind farm building requires water depths for the jack-up vessels to operate, the float foundation can be towed with tugboats to also shallower areas, opening up completely new potential areas for wind park construction. Of course this concept can be utilized also in water depths currently in use with for example monopiles.
The growth of energy production per farm will require energy conversion units offshore, where transformers, HVDC, or hydrogen and synthetic P2X fuels are produced. A pipeline to shore may be utilized or ships may come and refuel at the offshore production and storage facility. Also in this case technologies such as monopiles or for the bigger footprint man made rock islands can be replaced with the float foundations, once again enabling minor environmental impact with minimal dredging and seabed excavations. The total footprint may also be reduced since no extra lay down space is needed during the construction phase.
Northern areas with high energy demands can be expected to grow and in these area solutions withstanding ice conditions is required. Steel constructions used have the benefits over traditional rock island that no repair of ice barriers is needed after each winter, thus reducing the life cycle cost.
Moving the construction phase from off-shore to on-shore will reduce cost but also reduce many of the risks associated with offshore construction.
When the industry grows the produced electricity is going to be converted into P2X fuels at the offshore location. As a result new logistic chains will be introduced and these can be considered in the design of the energy island.
The Float Foundation solution utilizes the know-how from marine and off-shore industries. The huge growth in the green offshore industry is an area where the maritime industry may find new growth potential.