Texan engineering consultancy Atkins will develop a full-scale design of a floating offshore wind platform capable of supporting a 10MW turbine with support from The US Department of Energy.
The design is planned for installation and grid connection in a lease area owned by Mayflower Wind – a 50:50 joint venture between oil major Shell and Portuguese utility EDP Renewables. It will be used to help progress forecasting data.
Atkins has previously helped Swedish company Hexicon to design a floating platform supporting two wind turbines. It has not confirmed the model of platform it will install in the Mayflower lease area.
The US' assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, Daniel Simmons, said: “Improving the ability to accurately forecast wind power with enhanced weather models and demonstrating innovative energy production technologies can help reduce the cost of offshore wind.”
Atkins’ pilot platform is one of three demonstration projects receiving a share of $21 million funding from the Department of Energy.
The University of Maine will design a synthetic rope mooring for floating offshore wind turbines, which is expected to reduce the impact of offshore wind development on commercial fishing boats and reduce costs. The mooring system will be demonstrated on a full-scale floating offshore wind turbine as part of the New England Aqua Ventus I project.
Meanwhile, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of Massachusetts will keep records off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This data will be used to improve atmosphere-ocean simulation tools and reduce uncertainty in offshore wind resource assessment and forecasting.