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PivotBuoy - An Advanced System for Cost-effective and Reliable Mooring, Connection, Installation & Operation of Floating Wind

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PivotBuoy (PivotBuoy - An Advanced System for Cost-effective and Reliable Mooring, Connection, Installation & Operation of Floating Wind)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

The European Union played a key role in brokering COP21 historic agreement in Paris, where 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal global climate deal.

To achieve the targets set in Paris the EU needs to tap upon its most promising renewable resource, offshore wind energy, where the resource is not only larger, but stronger and more consistent. More than 80% of the offshore wind resource is located in deep waters, with an estimated potential of 4.000GW (Carbon Trust, 2015. Floating Offshore Wind: Market and Technology Review) an remains almost completely untap.

The overarching project objective is to develop and validate an advanced system (PivotBuoy® ) to harvest floating wind efficiently, reducing its LCOE by 50%. This will make floating offshore wind electricity competitive with non-renewables generation technologies enabling its widespread adoption, key to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

PivotBuoy will achieve this by improving in key elements when compared with the state of the art floating wind solutions. It will be lighter, reduce mooring and anchor spread, improve the electrical connection, reduce installation costs, increase reliability and maintainability, improve scalability, and minimize the environmental impact.
Throughout the first 18 months of the project a part scale prototype of the PivotBuoy system was designed by X1 Wind in collaboration with the partners of the consortium, Intecsea, DNV GL, EDP CNET, ESM who brought their expertise and know how . Simulations where conducted by DTU X1 Wind and WavEC to analyze the PivotBuoy response under different conditions expected in PLOCAN to iterate the design. The structure was manufactured by DEGIMA in Santader before shipping it to Gran Canaria to assemble. All the procedures will be a key learning experience to iterate the full-scale precommercial PivotBuoy. Despite the Covid 19 outbreak the project was able to continue with minor disruptions and is expected to be finalized succesfully meeting the project objectives.
So far the project has achieved its goal for the first 18 months of the project, proving that the disruptive design PivotBuoy is feasible and manufacturable and has the potential to reduce the LCoE by 50% with respect state of the art solutions (combination of offshore platforms from oil and gas industry, typically Spar or semi-submersible with “marinized” onshore wind turbines). The second part of the project will validate the system performance and survivability by testing the part-scale prototype in real conditions at PLOCAN test site in the Canary Islands.

One of the project drivers has been to design a system which can be assembled, installed and maintained using only local supply chain, in order to reduce costs and increase scalability as well as having a positive impact in the local economy, helping their industry to pivot into more sustainable business models while contributing to decarbonize the local electrical mix. The success of another European project in offshore wind will help to consolidate the global lead of the EU in this booming market, bringing an opportunity for the whole European supply chain.
Render PivotBuoy part scale prototype