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United Kingdom

ETI plans to install floating wind platform at wave test site

UK: A UK government-backed consortium of companies, including BP and Rolls-Royce, is considering testing a floating wind turbine platform at the Wave Hub wave energy site on the south coast of England.

Wave Hub - set for wind?
Wave Hub - set for wind?

The Energy Technology Institute (ETI), which also includes Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, and Shell, wants to design the platform and install it in a location between 60-100-metres deep and wind speeds of 10-metres-per-second.

Wave Hub consists of four test berths that are connected to the grid via the ocean floor (see picture). At the moment two of these, measuring one kilometre by two kilometres are available.

Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive said: "The ETI is seeking potential sites to host the demonstration project and we will be working with Wave Hub to see if it could be suitable for hosting the offshore wind floating platform. This is a challenging project and will need local marine engineering skills and support facilities as well as the right water and wind conditions.

"The concept for the floating platforms is to be able to access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the west coast of the UK which would bring down the cost of generating electricity so the Wave Hub site offers some interesting possibilities."

The ETI is also working on the design of a 100-metre blade suitable for a 10MW turbine. It is to invest around £10 million (€11.4 million) and is asking companies to design a blade that could be used on an 8-10MW turbine.

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