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Principle Power-led consortium launches ShallowFloat

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The international consortium led by Principle Power and composed of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Aker Solutions and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Technology From Ideas (TfI), has secured a contract by the US Government’s National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium “NOWRDC” for a project entitled “Demonstration of Shallow-Water Mooring Components for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (ShallowFloat).”

ShallowFloat aims to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of soft mooring designs for floating offshore wind turbines by incorporating an innovative load reducing polymer spring in the mooring lines.

The spring technology developed by TfI, has the potential to reduce peak loads by more than 50%, enabling reduction in both size and required holding capacity of anchors. As such, these polymer springs are expected to reduce installation vessel requirements, enabling drastic reductions in cost for FOWT station-keeping systems in shallow waters.

The objective of the NOWRDC-funded study is to design a bankable, low-cost, shallow-water mooring solution that has an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) from the American Bureau of Shipping and provide developers with reliable technical and economic data about the ability of floating foundations to potentially offer a more competitive, lower risk solution compared to bottom-fixed jacket structures in certain shallow water sites.

“As we see countries like Ireland target increasing volumes of offshore wind, there is a real opportunity to capture first mover advantages for both the country and the supply chain. We are excited to be working with TfI. As we look to the growth of the floating offshore wind sector, deployment in shallow waters will play a major role in meeting targets and, for this, innovation in the mooring space will be key.”

Cian Conroy senior business development manager – Europe, Principle Power.

“We are delighted that Principle Power, the market leader in floating offshore wind technology, is proposing Tfi technology to enable shallow mooring of their platforms. It is a very important recognition for the company and its team of engineers who have been working intensively to get the technology to this point”.

TfI CEO Noel Halloran.

Over the next 18 months, TfI will be demonstrating their technology in Scotland, France and now the USA.

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