Scotland’s first commercial floating wind projects can be delivered as low as 60 GBP/MWh on account of its attractive sites, upscaling benefits and technology maturation. Industrialization will be the differentiator.
The world’s first commercial scale floating offshore wind site auction, ScotWind Leasing, was launched 10th of June to much enthusiasm of the offshore wind industry. Scotland’s first floating demonstration project Hywind Scotland was launched in 2017, with capacity of 30MW and located in 110m water depth off the east coast of Scotland. There have since been more concepts matured and market entrants, making for a highly competition auction. But the big question is how far can floating cost levels come down with increasing project scale, better sites, and technology maturity.
Aegir Insights looks at the cost out potential for an early commercial scale floating project in four steps:
1. Demo technology baseline: A floater project cost model is made for the Hywind concept, which is calibrated to public announcements on Hywind project and contracts. Technology is assessed for both Hywind Scotland (2017 delivery) and Hywind Tampen (2022 delivery), both based on 8MW wind turbines.
2. Site conditions: A competitive ScotWind reference site is selected, having an average water depth of ~80 m, mean wind speed of 10.2 m/s at 100m.
3. Permitting and timing assessment: The ScotWind leases could have construction from 2027 - 2029, driven by permit lead time and CfD auction timing.
4. Technology maturity and scale: Scale effects are derived from assumption of a 500MW commercial project size, plus balance of plant savings from 15MW+ turbine sizing. Further cost-out is assumed for Hywind and other floating foundation concepts, including tonnage savings, assembly industrialization, mooring design, and installation durations.
The main cost differentiation between floating concepts will be ability to do industrialized assembly on a first commercial project – considering the immature supply chain and potentially large quayside areas needed.
Contact us to learn more about how Aegir can help you in your early-stage project development work – we cover both fixed-bottom and floating wind.