Influential and interesting in 2018 -- Sebastian Bringsvaerd

Head of Hywind development, Equinor

(pic: Haymarket)

Project chief of pioneering floating offshore project

Floating offshore wind power took a giant leap forward with the commissioning of Equinor’s Hywind Scotland project in late 2017.

Though small in capacity in comparison with conventional offshore wind farms, the 30MW development remains the only multi-turbine floating array in operation today.

Capacity factors that exceeded 60% from its five direct-drive 6MW Siemens Gamesa turbines during the first few months of 2018 indicate that Bringsvaerd’s team had succeeded while other developers were still struggling to get beyond single-turbine pilot projects.

The innovations at Hywind Scotland have not been limited to the deployment of the company’s unusual spar floater system.

In June, Bringsvaerd announced the Batwind project, a 1MW/1.3MWh "battery with a brain" connected to Hywind’s onshore substations.

"We want to teach the battery when to hold back and store electricity, and when to send power to the grid, thus increasing the value of the power," he said.

"Digitalisation is the key driver here. The more we feed Batwind’s power-management system with data, the smarter it gets."

Next step in Equinor’s floating plans looks likely to be the 11-turbine 88MW Hywind Tampen project, which will power oil and gas platforms in the Norwegian sea. A final investment is expected some time in 2019.