Engineers and developers have this week stepped forward to defend the Carbon Trust’s offshore wind turbine foundation development programme.
The scale and diversity of Round 3 offshore wind projects will require a wide range of new foundations that can be delivered quickly, experts said, after designs developed through the programme were criticised as being risky and not offering sufficient cost savings (NCE 17 June).
The Trust’s offshore £30M accelerator programme is looking at reducing costs of offshore foundations in up to 80m of water.
“Combination of technologies”
Gifford geotechnical director Stephen West said diverse technologies and better integrated approaches to installation will be needed due to the great number of turbines required and the variation in sea bed and ground conditions across the UK. In turn this would mean relying on “a combination of oil, and gas and new technologies”, he said.
As the Carbon Trust announced last week that Mainstream Renewable Power and Statkraft have joined its Offshore Wind Accelerator programme, existing programme member ScottishPower Renewables managing director Keith Anderson voiced his support for the scheme.
“The technological advances which have been identified will be central to offshore wind fully realising its enormous economic and environmental potential,” he said. “It is vital therefore that these measures are brought to market as quickly as possible.”