Energy firm Statoil is to develop proposals from three companies that could dramatically improve the set-up process for its floating offshore turbines.
Statoil selected three winners of its Hywind Installation Challenge after receiving several innovative suggestions.
Proposals from Atkins, Modec and Ulstein will be taken forward as the power company bids to boost availability of its turbines. A Hywind demonstration project was created in 2009 and a 30MW pilot park is planned for Scottish waters later this decade.
Atkins’ proposal was to attach multiple turbines to a transportation frame, reducing the draught of the structures, allowing them to be towed on routes with draught restrictions, and boosting transport speeds.
Ulstein proposed an adaption of its mechanical Windlifter vessel, which it says is not limited by water depth.
Modec suggested assembly and commissioning of turbines onshore then use of forks to help put them into position on an offshore “spar” or base. It said this had cost benefits.
Statoil said in a statement: “Competition was tough with many innovative concepts, making the job of selecting the winning innovators very challenging for the evaluation team.
“The proposals received were evaluated based on a set of defined evaluation criteria, and a shortlist of concepts was established for further assessment. After meetings with the shortlisted companies, it was decided to go further with three and collaboration has been initiated to mature the ideas further.”