Equinor unveils new floating offshore wind design for Scottish bid

Norwegian developer hopes to use its Wind Semi concept for 1GW floating offshore wind farm off Scotland

An artist's impression of what Equinor's Wind Semi design could look like

Equinor plans to use a new semi-submersible floating offshore wind platform for a 1GW project if it is successful in the ScotWind seabed lease tender.

It has unveiled plans for a triangular semi-submersible platform, which extends less than ten metres below the water – meaning it can be assembled at most industrialised ports.

The Wind Semi concept  features a passive ballast system and a flat plate design that is free from bracings, heave plates and complicated nodes that are prone to fatigue cracking and which means it can be built and transported in modules.

Equinor described Wind Semi as being simple and robust.

It would use the platform at a 1GW commercial project if it secures a seabed lease in the ScotWind tender. Seabed landlord Crown Estate Scotland is expected to announce the results of the auction in early 2022. 

Equinor had previously developed the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, the 30MW Hywind Scotland project, which uses a spar-based design, made up of a steel cylinder filled with ballast. It extends approximately 80 metres below the surface and is attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring system.

Sonja Indrebø, Equinor’s vice president of floating offshore wind said: “Hywind Scotland proved that the floating concept works, and as we move to the next generation floating offshore wind projects, we need to demonstrate that floating offshore wind is deployable at scale, in different geographies cost effectively whilst bringing local benefits.”