BW Ideol and Hitachi ABB to develop scalable floating substations for offshore wind

OSLO, NORWAY: BW Ideol has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hitachi ABB Power Grids, the world’s leading supplier of grid integration and power quality solutions, for an industry-first collaboration on developing scalable floating substations to support development of profitable commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms with high-capacity wind turbines.

Floating offshore wind is the next frontier in offshore wind power. Installed capacity of floating offshore wind installations is forecast to grow from 66 MW in 2019 to at least 6.2 GW in 2030(1) as more and more countries in Europe, Asia and North America are expected to develop deep-water wind resources. Substations are an essential part of offshore wind farm infrastructure.

The power is transmitted by cable from each wind turbine to the offshore substation where it is stepped up to a higher voltage and transferred safely and reliably to the onshore power grid.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids will provide modular, scalable, compact substation packages for installation on BW Ideol’s shallow-draft floating platforms. Both companies have worked closely together for several years to co-create a standardized and modular solution that addresses market requirements and the unique demands of operating in the most challenging environmental and seabed conditions.

“We are accelerating the delivery of a market-ready floating substation offering and solution via this unique collaboration,” says Paul de la Guérivière, Chief Executive Officer of BW Ideol. “It brings together two market and technology leaders to create a standardized and scalable solution for all floating offshore wind power requirements. Supported by the solid offshore experience of our strategic investor BW Offshore, the collaboration will be able to deliver fully integrated technical and financial solutions.”

“We are delighted to be partnering BW Ideol to provide a single solution that helps offshore wind power developers and independent power producers enter deeper waters,” says Alfredo Parres, Head of Renewables at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “Our pioneering modular, scalable substations use proven technologies to make possible this leap into floating renewable energy.”

With BW Ideol’s unique shallow draft solution, the floating substations will also be able to be implemented with bottom-fixed wind farms to mitigate challenging seabed conditions and/or challenging offshore installation operations. The substations will comprise transformers, switchgear and other high-voltage products specially developed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids for floating offshore platforms.

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