Seeing real-time progress in floating offshore wind

Seeing real-time progress in floating offshore wind

Dec. 22 2021 - 4 min

The offshore wind industry is gaining momentum, with anticipation mounting as the commercialization of floating offshore wind farms becomes a reality. From humble beginnings within small- and mid-sized companies, floating offshore wind has become a key focus of international energy providers like TotalEnergies, Shell and Equinor. These companies are investing heavily in floating offshore wind projects, looking to now-maturing technologies to limit their environmental footprint.

This is a sign that industry experts are no longer wondering about the profitability of wind farms, or how to manage prototyping. Instead, a spirit of optimism for floating offshore wind has been on full display at industry events throughout the year. Topics addressed at conferences and gatherings included securing the infrastructure and supply chain for offshore wind turbines, and getting governments to grant permits for building wind farms.

Buoyed by the healthy competition for the AO5 South Brittany, Europe’s offshore wind industry is approaching 2022 with enthusiasm.

Challenges to floating offshore wind

Still, there are hurdles to overcome before the floating offshore wind sector can consider itself fully fledged. Currently, there is no uniform regulatory framework for the industry, with local regulations varying widely from country to country. Many countries require certification of wind farm equipment, and some have additional requirements concerning environmental protection, health and safety, and the Labor Code. Until the International Maritime Organization (IMO) provides dedicated requirements, wind farm operators will need to work closely with classification societies to de-risk their projects.

Other challenges include convincing individuals to accept floating offshore wind farms near their homes and workplaces. Local residents, fishermen, non-governmental organizations and environmentalists all offer points of resistance to the expansion of offshore wind farms. For each project initiated by a government or private company, this represents an obstacle, and industry actors will need to do more to gain the acceptance of outside parties.

Our certification and regulatory expertise

By providing key certification services for offshore wind farms, and guiding clients through complex regulatory frameworks, Bureau Veritas is helping propel the industry forward. Our experts have developed in-depth technical documents, and our R&D teams have built Opera, a fully integrated modeling solution for verifying offshore wind turbine design. Our clients can use Opera to account for all aspects of their wind farm from mooring to blades. Designed in partnership with our clients, Opera is fully equipped to cover all of their eventual needs in ensuring their designs are derisked.

BV is ready to provide Classification services, technical knowledge, rules and notations to assist our clients, in accordance with the evolution of a regulatory framework. As the floating offshore wind sector makes further progress, we will help it to move forward in confidence, mobilizing our extensive knowledge of the offshore wind industry.