DNV has marked a significant milestone by concluding Phase 1 of its collaborative joint industry project (JIP), focused on establishing crucial offshore substation standards tailored to the burgeoning floating wind sector. The endeavor brings together 38 participating companies, encompassing transmission operators, developers, component suppliers, EPCI contractors, and yards, all dedicated to addressing the unique challenges linked to floating offshore substations.
Floating offshore wind is projected to reach a capacity exceeding 260 gigawatts (GW) by 2050, as highlighted in DNV's 2023 Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) research. Offshore substations hold a pivotal role in the expansion of floating offshore wind projects, functioning as central hubs to connect multiple wind turbines and transmit renewable energy to various markets.
Designing and implementing these offshore substations presents distinct challenges, including the necessity for high-voltage dynamic cables and electrical equipment capable of withstanding the movements of floating structures.
The joint industry project, aimed at bridging gaps in existing technology and standards relevant to floating substations, is envisioned to propel the wind industry toward its full potential and contribute to the continual transformation of the global energy landscape.
The primary outcomes of Phase 1 of the JIP include confirming the feasibility of floating offshore substations (FOSS) and export cables, identifying technological gaps requiring attention, and assessing the maturity of alternating current (AC) solutions compared to direct current (DC) alternatives.
The project also conducted a feasibility analysis for various generic floater types and dynamic export cable concepts. With a firm commitment to fostering robust design processes for optimized integrated floating substations, DNV intends to incorporate the findings from the JIP into the forthcoming updates of DNV-ST-0145 for floating substations and DNV-ST-0359 for dynamic cables, both slated for release in 2024.
Claus Christensen, a senior chief specialist at Orsted and the JIP Chairman, stressed the importance of standards in emerging industries. He noted, “Standards are important in emerging industries as they encourage innovation and competition while ensuring safety and reliability. It has been very valuable to work alongside 38 leading companies covering all scopes and disciplines in this project, and we look forward to floating substations being integrated into DNV-ST-0145. As the industry gains real project experience from designing and building floating substations, lessons learned need to be incorporated into the standard.”
With the successful completion of Phase 1, DNV is now moving ahead with Phase 2 of the JIP, inviting both Phase 1 participants and new contributors to join. Phase 2 will build upon the accomplishments of Phase 1 and integrate feedback from the project's stakeholders, further advancing the development of offshore substation standards in the dynamic and rapidly evolving field of floating wind energy.