- Over the past six months, we have observed the floating wind project pipeline expand significantly, with our Infrastructure Key Projects Data showing over 300GW of projects in various stages of developments.
- A number of bespoke floating wind developers are competing with established energy companies for market share.
- Latest UK offshore wind leasing round outlines major potential growth for the floating sector with major energy firms competing in the UK and globally.
Over the past six months, we have observed the floating wind project pipeline expand significantly, with our Infrastructure Key Projects Data showing floating offshore wind representing 16% of the total offshore wind pipeline with over 300GW of projects in various stages of development. While we highlight that the vast majority remain in planning, we have seen a marked increase in the sub-sector’s growth and appeal. That said, only one project, Hywind, is in the construction phase while a further two projects have entered pre-construction. As the only project under construction, the sector is keeping a close watch on its development and the companies involved. Being developed by Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor, offshore construction work on the 88MW Hywind wind farm is due to start with the transport and installation of the suction anchors off the Norwegian coast. The USD578.3mn offshore wind facility will feature 11-units of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy's 8MW wind turbines installed on concrete SPAR-type floating foundations. Aker Solutions, JDR Cable System, Subsea 7 and Wood group are also involved as suppliers and service providers for the facility. The power plant is slated to be commissioned by the end of 2022. However, it is not the traditional European wind technology markets that is seeing a surge in activity, the global appeal of floating technology is apparent in the chart below.
Equinor has also awarded a contract to Havfram to conduct a transport and installation study on a new project, the 800MW Firefly floating offshore wind project in South Korea. The scope of the study includes transport and offshore installation activities, as well as the supply and procurement of the inter-array cables and the mooring systems. This would mark a significant step-change for the firm, with the Firefly project being approximately 10 times larger than Hywind. Equinor has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea East-West Power to cooperate on 3GW of offshore wind projects in South Korea, including developing the first commercial floating offshore wind farm in the market.
A number of bespoke floating wind developers are competing with established energy companies for market share. This new global spread of projects is drawing in a new class of bespoke floating wind development firm looking to establish themselves and gain a first-mover advantage. These companies are often partnered with established energy firms active in the offshore space. Among these, we highlight Spain-based offshore wind developer, BlueFloat Energy. The firm is the most active across projects in the pipeline with a global presence. The firm has unveiled plans to build a floating offshore wind project with more than 1GW capacity in Taiwan, China. Called the Winds of September, the project would come up 25km off the coast of Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City