Floating wind farms will need floating substations

Written by Nick Blenkey
Floating substation

Substations are an essential part of offshore wind farm infrastructure. The power is transmitted by cable from each wind turbine to the offshore substation where it is stepped up to a higher voltage and transferred safely and reliably to the onshore power grid. [Image: Linxon]

California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signed legislation opening the state’s doors to offshore wind development. The legislation, introduced by Assembly member David Chiu, will require the California Energy Commission to establish offshore wind goals for 2030 and 2045. It also requires the Commission to develop a strategic plan to develop the industry off California’s coast as part of the state’s overall goals to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045.

An agreement between federal agencies, California agencies, and the Department of Defense promises to open up offshore wind lease areas off California’s central and northern coasts that offer 4.6 GW of offshore wind power for the state to draw upon. However development of offshore wind off the Pacific Coast will require the development of floating wind farm technology—including not only floating wind turbines, but also floating substations.

According to turnkey electrical AC substation project specialist Linxon, a joint venture between Hitachi ABB Power Grids and Canada’s SNC Lavalin, achieving an efficient and reliable floating substation is key to decarbonizing the electricity grid by unlocking large offshore wind generation potential.

Linxon says the wind industry is eager to develop and adopt commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms comprising high-capacity wind turbines and standardized, scalable floating substations that make the development and operation of the installations viable and profitable.

“Wind power technologies are mature, but in many countries the deployment of renewables in deep waters is a still a challenge,” said Stefan Reisacher, CEO of Linxon. “Wind turbine generators capacity factors are growing in all regions and the development of floating turbine structures is maturing, allowing better business cases for developer and owners.

Linxon says it has partnered with SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business to bring together the technology and project execution expertise needed to make floating substations a reality.

“The Linxon floating offshore substation platform solutions will comprise of product packages, specifically designed for offshore applications, including transformers, high-voltage switchgear and other equipment” said Alfredo Parres, Head of Renewables at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “Hitachi ABB Power Grids is committed to support the development of the floating offshore wind market and supporting Linxon customers to deliver floating offshore wind projects.”

“With Linxon,” Parres continued, “we use proven technologies to make this leap into floating renewable energy possible. Hitachi ABB Power Grids recently launched a portfolio of substation solutions and a new range of transformers for offshore floating applications, designed to overcome the challenging of the offshore environment and withstand the physically demanding conditions on floating structures.”

“The Linxon and Hitachi ABB Power Grids floating substation concept can address the current market needs and be adapted for emerging applications,” said Reisacher. “Having used proven solutions within our concept designs, we are ready to take the next step with our key customers.”

Floating substation
Linxon floating substation
Categories: News, Offshore, Offshore Wind Tags: , ,