Offshore wind: Saipem and Siemens Energy agree to develop design for floating substation

Written by Nick Blenkey
floating substation agreement

According to DNV, floating substations are the next challenge on the path to commercial scale floating wind farms. That’s because the deeper waters targeted for floating farms tend to be further offshore, where wind is typically more consistent, but where bottom-fixed offshore wind support structures are less feasible technically, logistically, and economically.

As floating offshore wind developments ramp up, Saipem and Siemens Energy have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the joint development of a concept design for a 500 MW high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) floating electrical substation.

The two companies say that floating offshore substations, installed in deep water, offer several advantages such as a lighter substructure, an easier and asset-light installation in challenging conditions as well as lower decommissioning costs.

Saipem and Siemens Energy say their floating offshore substation concept will be based on a proven semisubmersible substructure and is designed to operate in the most extreme environments with enhanced stability and can be scaled up as required by clients. In addition, the design will address the industrialization phase as it can be adapted to fabrication and assembly infrastructures worldwide. The floating substation could represent a tangible solution for reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of floating wind farms.

Saipem’s expertise in the engineering of complex and sustainable offshore infrastructures, including floating solutions, will be combined with Siemens Energy’s broad transmission portfolio to develop a cutting-edge, standardized and scalable technology.


“Our ambition is to take advantage of Saipem and Siemens Energy unique expertise, to jointly develop a cutting-edge floating design solution for offshore substations,” said Saipem CCO Fabrizio Botta. “The new concept will be an enabler to enhance offshore wind developments in deeper waters by lowering the overall infrastructure investment. This agreement further confirms Saipem ambition to strengthen its leadership role in the offshore wind market by delivering industrialized and standard solutions.”

Agustin Tenorio, vice president transmission systems at Siemens Energy, said: “The new joint solution will significantly optimize critical technical parameters, such as weight, electrical efficiency, and asset longevity, thus lowering the production costs and enabling an unprecedented number of countries to benefit from large-scale offshore wind generation. This MoU is an integral part of Siemens Energy’s Net Zero strategy in scaling up its activities through technology partnerships for specific markets, which complements the well-established turnkey business we already execute today.”

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