Though hundreds of gigawatts of projects are in the global pipeline, the race to market by 50-plus platform developers was always going to have only a few winners – and connections will be key
By Victoria Toft
It is a hard existential truth facing the floating wind sector that much of its inventive energy will never get out to sea. Of the more than 65 different innovative platform concepts currently in development, as industry pioneer Dominique Roddier bluntly noted in a recent Beaufort interview, it is likely “only three or four” will reach mass production for international markets in the coming decades as the first tens of gigawatts of deepwater projects are built.
Industrial connections will separate the winners from the also-rans as the global floating wind fleet expands from the 250MW of arrays operating today into the hundreds of gigawatts forecast to be built by mid-century. The foundation for this growth is being laid via an enlarging network of developers, platform suppliers and turbine-makers that is taking shape, with more than 200 corporate tie-ups under the aegis of bid consortia or other partnerships now active.
Based on the number of cooperation deals with project developers/investors and equipment manufacturers, four floating wind hull designs stand out as being 'best positioned' for commercialization in the first wave industrial build-out coming through the 2030s: BW Ideol’s ‘damping pool’ barge, Principle Power’s WindFloat, Hexicon’s TwinWind and Stiesdal Offshore Technology’s 'Tetra' designs. Odfjell Oceanwind’s Deepsea Semi rounds out the top five.
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