In a recent survey conducted by Wind Energy Update (WEU), five sub-areas of wind power plant installation were selected for cost reduction.
The sub area selected by the senior executives with most potential for cost reduction was foundations, with almost twice as many responses as the next closest.
Foundations make up 19% of an offshore wind power plant’s LCOE according to Lindoe Offshore Renewables Center [LORC]. Foundation cost reduction, and the cost of the logistics to their installation, constitute a very relevant means of further lowering the LCOE of offshore wind projects.
Partnerships and integration key to success
For offshore wind to remain relevant, installation and operational costs must reduce. A significant reason that foundations should be the first area of cost consideration is that they are required not only for the turbines, but also for each structure in the power plant. Sub stations, met masts and accommodation quarters are also areas for potential cost savings.
Tom Evans, Managing Director at Wind Energy Update says, “The offshore wind industry faces a Catch 22 scenario …a desire to innovate and see new solutions brought to market, but realistic investors need proven track records and low risk from service providers. Simply due to the volume of foundations used on projects, an opportunity is present to dedicate a sample section of new builds to testing, and should the tests prove conclusive, the option to roll out at scale is possible.”
The Offshore Wind Foundations Report, published March 2013 is based on over 12,000 pieces of data, company case studies and industry interviews, 1270+ survey responses, proprietary and secondary material. To access the report click here.