Shell and partners commission TetraSpar Demonstrator floating foundation

Shell, TEPCO RP, RWE and Stiesdal have commissioned their floating wind project, TetraSpar Demonstrator off the coast of Norway. The project will now enter its test phase where data on the performance and characteristics of the TetraSpar floating foundation will be captured and analyzed to pave the way for commercial-scale floating wind projects.

Source: Shell

The TetraSpar Demonstrator is the world’s first industrially manufactured floating offshore foundation. Shell, TEPCO RP, RWE and Stiesdal took the final investment decision in February 2019.

Earlier this summer, the TetraSpar Demonstrator modules were assembled at the quayside in the port of Grenaa, Denmark, requiring no welding nor special port facilities. It was then launched, using a semisubmersible barge. A Siemens Gamesa 3.6 MW wind turbine was installed with an ordinary onshore crane.

The structure then reached its destination at the METCentre test site off Norway’s coast after a tow of 360 nautical miles. This makes the TetraSpar Demonstrator the world’s first spar foundation capable of deployment from an ordinary, shallow-water port, the partners say. At its destination, the TetraSpar Demonstrator was anchored at 200 m water depth. It has now been fully commissioned and is producing power in automatic, unattended operation.

“This is a huge milestone for the project. First and foremost, we are happy to have completed all phases of the project without any significant safety incidents, even though we have deployed a very innovative project with a range of world’s first elements. The deep experience of our project partners has been invaluable in this regard. Next, we are obviously very pleased that the new technologies, a few years ago only ambitions and design proposals, have now come to fruition. All indications are that our key target, to accelerate the industrialization of floating offshore wind, can actually be met, not only at prototype level but at large scale.”

Henrik Stiesdal, Chairman of the board of directors of TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS

“We are extremely proud to have reached this important milestone and to have contributed to the realization of a truly innovative floating concept. Shell is committed to further develop the floating wind industry globally by providing technical and financial support to promising concepts such as Tetraspar. Ultimately, we hope to deploy floating wind technology globally and at large scale to enable further decarbonization of our customers’ activities and for society as a whole.”

Thomas Brostrom, Senior Vice President Renewables at Shell

“There are high expectations throughout the world for floating offshore wind farms. One of the most challenging endeavors underway is the TetraSpar floating foundation demonstration project. Each stage in the process, from manufacturing and assembly, to launch and deployment, has done well, and we are very excited now to have the demonstrator in operation, thereby reaching an important milestone towards commercial operation of the TetraSpar. In Japan we expect more floating offshore wind farms to be built from 2030 and onward as we aim for realization of carbon neutrality in 2050. The TetraSpar concept can be utilized in Japan’s natural conditions and enables the easy construction of regional supply chains thereby playing an important role as we aim to transition to renewable energies as baseload power sources. This is a promising new technology for the future and we expect the TetraSpar floater to perform well during operation off the coast of Norway over the next couple of years.”

Seiichi Fubasami, President of TEPCO RP

“This project has been both challenging and inspiring. The spark of genius with the TetraSpar concept is its industrialized manufacturing and assembly methodology, which we think is crucial for long-term cost reduction. Our deep involvement in this project means we have now gathered firsthand evidence about how this approach can be scaled up to commercial projects. This project has taught us more crucial lessons than we could have ever expected, and it has been great to work so collaboratively with our project partners to safely deliver such an innovative technology. It has been particularly interesting to see how important it is to transfer RWE’s experience in seabed-fixed offshore wind into our floating projects. This project’s success motivates us to keep on delivering cutting edge innovation.”

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind of RWE Renewables

The upcoming test phase will provide the four partnering companies with important knowledge and opportunities to further refine the TetraSpar technology. The partners will make full use of the results obtained to expand the possibilities of offshore wind power and thereby contribute to the realization of a clean and sustainable carbon-neutral society.

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