Oil majors Total and Shell, both of which also make lubricant products for various sectors, have joined the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOWCoE) set up by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in the UK.
The FOWCoE was established in October last year with the aim of making floating wind turbines more economically feasible. Unlike the fixed-bottom wind turbines that are currently more prevalent, floating wind turbines can be sited in deeper waters. The centre will try to improve the technology and manufacturing, so that floating wind turbines can be manufactured and deployed more quickly and generate electricity at a lower cost.
Other companies joining the consortium include fellow energy major Equinor, which has long been a pioneer of floating wind turbines, as well as offshore wind power developers like Scottish Power Renewables, EDP Renewables, SSE Renewables, EDF Renewables, and Offshore Wind Power Ltd.
Shell’s general manager for floating wind, Vincent Fromont, said about the move:
“This type of collaboration is key if we are to deliver cleaner power from wind at commercial scale. Floating wind technology has the potential to open-up offshore areas currently unsuitable for existing fixed-foundation technologies, with competitive solutions. We can contribute with our experience of working offshore, increasingly with proven experience…”
Total’s UK managing director, Jean-Luc Guiziou, also expressed his company’s delight at joining FOWCoE, highlighting the mature nature of the UK offshore wind industry and the opportunities it offers Total in its aim of being a responsible energy company.