Floating wind innovator opens U.S. office

Written by Nick Blenkey
Gazelle platform is a hybrid of semi-submersible and tension leg platform designs.

Gazelle platform is a hybrid of semi-submersible and tension leg platform designs.

Dublin, Ireland-based floating offshore wind system specialist Gazelle Wind Power is opening a U.S. office in Austin, Texas. The company claims to have “reinvented the floating wind platform to be lighter, flexible, and more stable” with a platform design that is a hybrid of semi-submersible and tension leg platform designs. Lighter than conventional platforms, it uses approximately 70% less steel and is one-third the weight of other floating platforms. It has a tilt of less than 1 degree and has 80% less mooring tension load than tension leg platforms.

Gazelle says its platform is more compact and simpler to build, deploy, and maintain than other floating platforms, which translates to dramatically lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE).

“The addition of this U.S. office is a significant milestone for Gazelle as we take our innovative technology to the global market. We chose Austin for our U.S. office because several leading sources rank the city as a top cleantech innovation hub, which gives us unparalleled access to potential partners,” said Jon Salazar, founder, and president of Gazelle Wind Power. “Austin also provides Gazelle with convenient access to the robust offshore wind market that is taking off in the Gulf Coast region and throughout the United States.”

Reaching offshore wind energy production targets will require developing wind farms in waters deeper than 60 meters with substantially larger turbines. At these depths, it’s harder to build, secure, and maintain fixed platforms on the seafloor. Gazelle’s innovative, hybrid attenuated mooring platform is designed and engineered to enable floating offshore wind production in deeper waters farther out at sea. Its unique platform design is a hybrid of the semi-submersible and tension leg platform designs, incorporating all their advantages.

The system has received a statement of feasibility from classification society DNV.

“Gazelle’s innovative mooring system is a completely new concept,” said Claudio Bittencourt Ferreira, business development director at DNV. “Achieving the statement of feasibility as part of the concept assessment defined in DNVGL-SE-0422 is a confirmation that Gazelle has demonstrated technical feasibility of the technology to deliver its targets in line with the requirements of our service specification that was developed to enable innovation in the marine renewables market.”

“Achieving DNV verification of our disruptive platform is a major milestone that validates the 12 years of research and innovation that has gone into this technology,” said Salazar. “Our system, and technologies like it, will be key in global decarbonization goals and will have a significant impact on the growth of the floating offshore wind market.”

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