As the offshore wind turbine industry gradually enters the industrialization phase, the British company Marine Power Systems (MPS) is about to accelerate the development of its demonstrator, with the support of Principia and Bourbon Subsea Services (BSS). Benoît Dromard, Project Manager at BSS, offers some explanations.

By: BENOIT DROMARD, Project Manager – BSS.

The demonstrator designed by the British company Marine Power Systems (MPS) is a floating wind turbine that can be stably anchored in deep waters (depths greater than around 60 m). Easily transportable and towable over long distances, using non-specialized vessels, its installation on site is fast and safe. Its disconnection is quick and safe, which facilitates removal from the site in case of major maintenance. Once operational, it also benefits from great stability in all types of weather conditions, including storms. This demonstrator should be installed in early 2023 at the BiMEP 1 test site in northern Spain.

“A wide variety of floaters have been developed during the past decade but only a few have reached the 1:1 scale of a demonstrator. Moreover, Bourbon Subsea Services has had the opportunity to support the approach of the market’s main players. This new collaboration with MPS enables us to work alongside a future leader. We are proud to be pioneers in the development of the floating wind energy industry and to assist MPS to demonstrate the added value of its technologies.”

The interest of offshore wind energy in decarbonizing the energy mix is no longer in question, but conventional (fixed) offshore wind energy is limited worldwide by the availability of shallow areas. Floating wind technology considerably expands the field of possibilities and is therefore essential at an industrial stage.

MPS awarded Principia a contract for the design and project management assistance concerning the management, execution and coordination of the demonstrator design, the supervision of the supply, construction and final assembly of the platform, as well as its commissioning and operation.

Principia has awarded Bourbon Subsea Services a subcontract for consultancy services, during the design phase, covering a certain number of operational subjects, as well as the supervision of the supply and construction of the demonstrator. “Bourbon Subsea Services will provide its operational added value, based on both its experience in operations installations and its know-how developed during the completion of turnkey projects over the entire development chain of floating offshore wind energy over the last 10 years”.

After years of development, tests, and the installation of demonstrators and pilot farms, the floating wind energy market has reached a level of maturity that enables the award of the first concessions to developers. Bourbon Subsea Services positions itself on this market as an EPCI operator for those clients that need to minimize contract interfaces and all the associated risks.

1 Offshore testing area with grid connection for demonstration and validation of wave energy converters and floating wind platforms.