BW Ideol and Hitachi to design floating wind substation

Companies pledge to provide modular, scalable substations that will make floating wind deployment ‘viable and profitable’

Ideol had previously unveiled a floating substation design in 2019 (pic credit: Atlantique Offshore Energy)
Ideol had previously unveiled a floating substation design in 2019 (pic credit: Atlantique Offshore Energy)

Technology giant Hitachi ABB Power Grids and floating offshore wind specialist BW Ideol have signed a memorandum of understanding to accelerate the delivery of a market-ready floating substation solution.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will provide modular, scalable, compact substation packages for installation on BW Ideol’s shallow-draft floating platforms. 

The substations will comprise transformers, switchgear and other high-voltage products specially developed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids for floating offshore platforms. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with BW Ideol to provide a single solution that helps offshore wind power developers and independent power producers enter deeper waters,” said Alfredo Parres, head of renewables at Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

“Our pioneering modular, scalable substations use proven technologies to make possible this leap into floating renewable energy.”

The announcement follows Hitachi ABB Power Grids earlier this month launching a portfolio of transformer products for offshore floating applications, designed to withstand the demands of the offshore environment and floating structures. 

The companies stated they have worked closely together for several years to co-create a standardised modular solution that satisfies the most challenging environmental and seabed conditions. 

Ideol unveiled a floating electrical offshore substation in partnership with French company Atlantique Offshore Energy (AOE), formerly known as STX, in June 2019.

“We are accelerating the delivery of a market-ready floating substation offering and solution via this unique collaboration,” Ideol chief executive Paul de la Guérivière said of the deal with Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

Floating offshore wind is forecast to grow from 66MW installed capacity in 2019 to at least 6.2GW in 2030, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

This requires commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms using scalable floating substations “to make the development and operation of the installations viable and profitable”, the companies stated.

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