Aker Solutions has signed a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract with the Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway to pilot new subsea power system technology which has the potential to significantly reduce the costs and complexity of offshore wind farms.
The project will see Aker Solutions provide new power transmission technology, Subsea Collector, for the METCentre’s offshore wind test area which today consists of two floating offshore wind turbines located 10 kilometers off the southwestern coast of Karmøy, Norway. The test area will expand to seven floating offshore wind turbines from 2026.
Subsea Collector provides an alternative solution to connect multiple wind turbines electrically in a star configuration instead of the traditional daisy chain pattern, allowing for more flexibility in offshore wind farm architecture and construction. The design also allows for reduced cable length per turbine and park, as well as less vessel time and installation costs. Initial findings support total cost savings on a 1GW floating wind farm of up to 10 percent.
The main component parts of the Subsea Collector comprise a 66kV wet mate connection system provided by Benestad and subsea switchgear with supervisory control and data acquisition by subsea power and automation alliance partner, ABB. Installation will be carried out by Windstaller Alliance, an alliance between Aker Solutions, DeepOcean and Solstad Offshore. Aker Solutions will also provide the static export cable to shore.
“The Subsea Collector is a great example of true industry collaboration. Combining Aker Solutions’ vast subsea experience with our partner’s proven control and connection systems, we aim to solve challenges currently facing the offshore wind sector. We hope this project will result in a field proven system that can benefit the industry for many years to come,”
says Jo Kjetil Krabbe, executive vice president of Power Solutions at Aker Solutions.
The METCentre evaluated several alternative configurations for its new cable infrastructure and concluded by moving forward with a pilot installation of Aker Solutions’ Subsea Collector to enable the expansion of the test site.
“This pioneering project will contribute to shaping the infrastructure in future large scale floating wind parks. The technology is under development, and the project demonstrates how Norwegian subsea expertise from the oil and gas industry drives innovation forward within floating offshore wind on a global scale,”
says CEO of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind, Arvid Nesse.
The first-of-its-kind system has been developed following the proven success of similar technologies in large installation projects and Aker Solutions’ experience in subsea power solutions for subsea gas compression and more recently for floating offshore wind like Equinor’s Hywind Tampen.
“Over the last decade we have gained extensive experience from complex subsea projects, delivering reliable HV-powered systems to support developments like Åsgard and most recently Jansz-lo. We are now building upon that expertise to develop equipment and technology for next generation subsea power systems for more cost-efficient offshore wind developments,”
The METCentre is recognized as a world leading facility for testing new marine renewable energy technologies under various conditions.
“The activities at METCentre will contribute to developing the already strong Norwegian supply chain, providing experience and valuable insight. The Subsea Collector will hugely benefit both the test customers and the supply chain and create positive repercussions for the 400 members of Norwegian Offshore Wind,”
says Arvid Nesse.
Source: Aker Solutions
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