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Welcome to Task 23 Subtask 2: Research for Deeper Waters Part A

Offshore Code Comparison Collaboration (OC3)


All of the significant experience with offshore wind turbine foundations and support structures has been with either monopiles or gravity based foundations in water depths less than 30-metres. Some member countries are interested in alternative technology applications that will allow turbines to be placed in water depths greater than 30 m because they do not have abundant sites with shallow water (e.g. Japan, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, UK, and the USA), and some countries may be interested in deeper sites to mitigate potential visual impacts from the coastlines. To successfully deploy wind turbines in these depths, alternative fixed-bottom support structures or floating platforms may be necessary.

There is no significant offshore wind industry experience with floating platforms yet. The oil and gas industries, however, have deployed thousands of floating oil-drilling platforms in depths up to 2-kilometers. Drawing from this experience, the wind industry can develop floating platforms by building on these offshore technologies but the costs must be reduced substantially. Some of the proposed R&D work that may be considered for alternative platforms and structures are:

• Development of low cost anchoring and moorings systems suitable for offshore wind installations in varying water depths.
• Optimization studies to determine lowest-cost options for floating platforms.
• Coupled platform dynamic modeling – understanding research requirements.
• Exchange data on manufacturing and materials benefits arising from floating platform requirements.
• Share experience and technical data pertaining to marine ecology, regulatory requirements, and permits in deep water and installations far from shore.