Humber Firms Urged to Join Floating Turbine Development

Humber Firms Urged to Join Floating Turbine Development

Renewables businesses in the Humber are being urged to get involved with a new development in wind technology. Ambitious plans have been unveiled for floating wind turbines to harness more offshore wind power at potentially lower cost.

The UK and US are set to work together to develop floating wind turbines to harness more offshore wind power. The aim is to generate power in deep waters, which are currently off limits to conventional wind turbines. Greenport Hull could become a centre for design and development of the floating turbines to maintain the Humber’s position at the heart of the UK’s renewables revolution.

Mark O’Reilly, director and chairman of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said: “Floating turbines would allow access to areas of the North Sea, such as Dogger Bank, that are currently off limits.

They could be located in ever-deeper waters, where the wind is stronger but without the expense of foundations down to the seabed.

Renewables businesses in the Humber should get involved in the design and development of floating turbines to keep the supply chain going.

Energy ministers from the UK and US have pledged to work together to promote the development of floating wind turbines with renewables businesses.

In order to exploit the UK’s huge wind resource, new technology is needed to access waters between 60m and 100m, which is too deep for turbines fixed to the seabed but where wind speeds are consistently higher. It could reduce the high costs of offshore wind, cutting the expense of seabed foundations and allowing repairs on floating wind platforms to be carried out in port rather than at sea.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Britain has more wind turbines installed around its shores than any other country in the world and our market is rated as the most attractive among investors.

Offshore wind is critical for the UK’s energy future and there is big interest around the world in what we’re doing.”

Mr Davey said the UK and US governments were both making funding available for the development of the new technologies for the renewables industry.

Offshore Nieuws Staff, April 26, 2012; Image: THMA