“Semi-submersible” style foundation
The Western Star Project will be located at least 35km off the west coast of Co. Clare. The innovative floating technology proposed for this project will allow the turbines to be located far from shore and in waters over 100m deep where traditional fixed bottom turbine
By locating the turbines so far offshore, the visual impact of the wind farm on onshore communities is
greatly reduced. Additionally, locating the turbines further out to sea will place the farm in an area of higher wind energy potential. Click here to see our simulated views from shore of the nearest turbines at 35km from the coast.
Equivalent potential power
There are a wide range of technologies and design concepts in various stages of research and development across the FLOW industry spectrum. Each design concept offers pros and cons dependant on an array of variables including water depths and seabed composition.
In 2016, and again in 2020, Simply Blue Group undertook a ‘Technology and Commercial Review’ of Floating Offshore Wind Foundations. It was determined that floating wind solutions have matured, and an increasing number of foundations are now financeable. Arrays of ever-increasing scale are being developed globally utilising a variety of technologies. Given the significant environmental conditions off the west coast of Ireland Simply Blue Group will undertake further engineering studies in co-operation with technology developers to understand the performance of floating foundation types, moorings and anchor solutions.
The following are examples of some of these floating technologies that have been deployed at sea at scale.
In March 2020, Simply Blue Group announced a partnership with the energy giant Total to develop the Blue Gem Wind floating offshore wind portfolio, starting with Erebus, a 96 MW capacity project which will be in the Celtic Sea off the Welsh coast. This project will utilise semi-submersible WindFloat technology developed by Principle Power Inc.
Simply Blue Group announced Emerald in July 2020, another floating offshore wind project, off the south coast of Cork in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas platform which is currently being decommissioned. This project envisions the transformation of the maritime landscape in the area from a fossil fuel producing site into a zone for clean, renewable offshore wind energy. Find out more here.