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A subsea power distribution system combined with up to seven floating wind turbines off the coast of Karmøy, Norway, aims to provide more flexibility in offshore wind farm architecture and construction. According to the initiators, the system has the potential to reduce the costs and complexity of offshore wind farms significantly.

Aker Solutions has signed a front-end engineering and design contract with the Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway to provide the new power transmission technology, called Subsea Collector. This solution provides an alternative way 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 and less vessel time and installation costs. Initial findings support total cost savings on a 1GW floating wind farm of up to 10 percent.

Field-proven system

“The Subsea Collector is a great example of true industry collaboration,” says Jo Kjetil Krabbe, executive vice president of Power Solutions at Aker Solutions. “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.”

The project is expected to 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 METCentre CEO Arvid Nesse.