Saitec Offshore and engineering firm Waterford Energy Services have been awarded a grant to study the potential for using floating offshore wind to power oil and gas drilling units off the coast of Canada.
The Canadian government has granted the two companies access to a C$24.4 million (US$20.1 million) pool of funding to assess the feasibility of the planned project off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador in eastern Canada.
Pending the results of the feasibility study, they will aim to develop a full-scale demonstration of using a floating offshore wind turbine and transmit power to an offshore or nearshore drilling unit. The drilling unit could be a semi-submersible or jack-up rig, Saitec explained.
This study will also help the partners to decide the power rating of the floating offshore wind turbine, a spokeswoman added.
The feasibility study is due to conclude in the second quarter of 2022. Saitec aims to build a demonstration project in 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.
Waterford Energy Services is an engineering consultancy for the oil and gas industry, while Saitec has developed a "swinging around twin hull" (SATH) floating offshore wind platform that features two cylindrical and horizontal hulls with conical edges braced by a concrete frame.
Their project echoes Equinor's Hywind Tampen, which will include floating offshore wind turbines powering oil and gas platforms in the Norwegian North Sea.
If built, the Saitec-Waterford project could be Canada's first floating offshore wind farm, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.