Offshore wind veterans unveil 'groundbreaking' floating wind connector

Technology startup Encomara has launched a system it claims could speed up the development of floating wind projects. 

Encomara claims its Squid device (pictured) will speed up floating wind development

Encomara will unveil its first patented product – a maritime connection device called Squid – today (4 October) at an offshore wind conference in Scotland

Squid is a floating connector that integrates the hardware of a floating offshore wind turbine, including power cables, connectors, mooring lines and anchors into a single unit.

The company claims the system could provide a more rapid rollout and a faster “plug to power”, as well as “significantly reduce the levelised cost of electricity” generated with floating offshore wind.

Squid also allows for pre-installation and pre-commissioning of the associated hardware, to reduce the costs and risks of doing so later in the development process, the firm added.

Encomara chief operating officer Ian Cobban and chief technology officer Malcolm Bowie bring their offshore experience working at maritime engineering firm Subsea7 to the new firm. The leadership team is completed by CEO Raymond Semple and Ian Donald as executive chairman.

Floating wind is more suitable in areas where deep coastal waters would make traditional fixed-bottom foundations for offshore wind turbines problematic.

The world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, the 88MW Hywind Tampen project, was recently inaugurated in the Norwegian North Sea. It is being used by owners Equinor to power the company’s fossil fuel extraction efforts in the region.