Over a dozen technology developers are drawing up plans to add other marine power concepts to the frameworks associated with floating offshore wind. The companies, which include Floating Power Plant of Denmark, Marine Power Systems of the UK, and Pelagic Power of Norway, are all pushing the idea of using floating wind turbine platforms for a variety of generating assets, including wind, wave, solar, and ocean thermal energy. They say that this can improve the energy yield and thus reduce the overall cost of electricity.
US-based Excipio Energy has designed a floating platform called an Excibuoy which, it claims, can accommodate wind, wave, flow, mooring energy and ocean thermal energy conversion technologies simultaneously. It claims that an Excibuoy supporting a single 10 MW offshore wind turbine can also support up to an additional 19 MW from these alternative energy sources.
Developers pursuing early-stage technologies, such as tidal and wave, are keen on hybridisation, because this offers a way of piggybacking on the cost reduction path of floating wind, which is still at an early stage, but has massive growth potential.
Sean Parsons, External Affairs Director for Simec Atlantis Energy , said: “It’s clear that in order for less established technologies to achieve a scale, they must innovate and look for all possible ways to reduce cost. If the cost of supporting infrastructure and development could be shared with other technologies, like floating wind, then this would be a great benefit to the projects and the continued development of these developing technologies.”