Image source: Aker Offshore Wind

Aker debuts underwater solution for floating offshore wind substations

UK, Scotland: Aker Offshore Wind has outlined plans to utilize Scotland’s first offshore wind underwater substation.

The multi-million subsea innovation would be developed, manufactured and supplied in Scotland by Aker Solutions and provide major export opportunities for Scottish businesses.

Substations – which help move the energy created by wind turbines into homes and businesses – are traditionally installed above sea level but moving them down to the seabed brings several reliability and cost benefits. For example, the seawater can be used as a natural cooling system, while reliability is increased through stable temperatures, fewer components and no rotating parts. In addition, operational costs can decrease by less maintenance and reduced material use.

The project would be delivered as a part of the ScotWind licensing process, for which Aker Offshore Wind has teamed up with Ocean Winds to submit a series of floating bids which could deliver up to 6,000 MW of energy in the Outer Moray Firth. It would be by far the UK’s biggest wind energy development and power millions of homes with renewable energy.

Floating offshore wind is the latest advent in renewable energy technology. Around 80 % of the world’s wind resources are in waters deeper than 60 m and are unsuitable for fixed foundations.

“This is a world-leading innovation that would be developed, manufactured and supplied in Scotland,” says Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK. “Both the Aker group and Ocean Winds have the necessary heritage and experience to deliver this at scale. We know the benefit is there – it will revolutionize how energy is produced and present Scotland with the opportunity to export genuinely innovative technology to the rest of the world.”

Source: North American Windpower