Aker Solutions has entered into a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract with the Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway to test a new subsea power system technology designed to potentially reduce costs and complexity in offshore wind farm projects.
Under this collaboration, Aker Solutions will provide the METCentre's offshore wind test area, featuring two floating offshore turbines located 10km off the south-western coast of Karmoy, Norway, with its innovative power transmission technology, the Subsea Collector. The test area is slated to expand to seven floating machines by 2026.
The Subsea Collector introduces an alternative solution for connecting multiple turbines electrically in a star configuration, deviating from the conventional daisy chain pattern. Aker Solutions asserts that this design enhances flexibility in offshore wind farm architecture and construction while allowing for reduced cable length per unit and park, resulting in less vessel time and installation costs.
Preliminary findings suggest potential total cost savings of up to 10% on a 1GW floating wind farm, as per Aker Solutions.
The Subsea Collector comprises a 66kV wet mate connection system provided by Benestad, along with subsea switchgear featuring supervisory control and data acquisition by ABB, Aker Solutions' subsea power, and automation alliance partner. Windstaller Alliance, a collaboration between Aker Solutions, DeepOcean, and Solstad Offshore, will handle the installation, while Aker Solutions will provide the static export cable to shore.
Jo Kjetil Krabbe, Executive Vice President of Power Solutions at Aker Solutions, highlighted the project as a prime example of industry collaboration and expressed the hope that the Subsea Collector would address current challenges in the offshore wind sector, offering a proven system beneficial to the industry in the long term.
Arvid Nesse, Chief Executive of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind, emphasized the pioneering nature of the project, contributing to shaping the infrastructure for future large-scale floating wind parks. He noted the project's alignment with Norway's subsea expertise from the oil and gas industry, driving innovation in the global floating offshore wind sector.