BW Ideol and Hitachi ABB Power Grids to collaborate on developing scalable floating substations for offshore wind power

BW Ideol announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hitachi ABB Power Grids, the world’s leading supplier of grid integration and power quality solutions, for an industry-first collaboration on developing scalable floating substations to support development of profitable commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms with high-capacity wind turbines.

Floating offshore wind is the next frontier in offshore wind power. Installed capacity of floating offshore wind installations is forecast to grow from 66 MW in 2019 to at least 6.2 GW in 20301 as more and more countries in Europe, Asia and North America are expected to develop deep-water wind resources. 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.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids will provide modular, scalable, compact substation packages for installation on BW Ideol’s shallow-draft floating platforms. Both companies have worked closely together for several years to co-create a standardized and modular solution that addresses market requirements and the unique demands of operating in the most challenging environmental and seabed conditions.

“We are accelerating the delivery of a market-ready floating substation offering and solution via this unique collaboration,” says Paul de la Guérivière, Chief Executive Officer of BW Ideol. “It brings together two market and technology leaders to create a standardized and scalable solution for all floating offshore wind power requirements. Supported by the solid offshore experience of our strategic investor BW Offshore, the collaboration will be able to deliver fully integrated technical and financial solutions.”

“We are delighted to be partnering BW Ideol to provide a single solution that helps offshore wind power developers and independent power producers enter deeper waters,” says Alfredo Parres, Head of Renewables at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “Our pioneering modular, scalable substations use proven technologies to make possible this leap into floating renewable energy.”

With BW Ideol’s unique shallow draft solution, the floating substations will also be able to be implemented with bottom-fixed wind farms to mitigate challenging seabed conditions and/or challenging offshore installation operations. The substations will comprise transformers, switchgear

About BW Ideol
BW Ideol is a fully integrated global leader in floating foundation design with more than 10 years of experience in design, execution and development of floating wind projects. BW Ideol benefits from the unique return on experience of two full-scale floating wind assets performing successfully since 2018: the 2MW Floatgen project (France’s first offshore wind turbine) and the 3.2MW Hibiki project (Japan’s only floating wind asset based on a foreign technology). Both these projects are a demonstration of BW Ideol’s unique commitment to achieving the highest possible level of local content with respectively 80% and 90% of each project’s Capex sourced and manufactured locally.

Employing over 60 specialist engineers with extensive background in the offshore sector, BW Ideol is currently finalizing the design and engineering work of the EolMed project, a 3 x 10MW pre-commercial floating wind project off the French Mediterranean. All of BW Ideol’s projects are based on its patented and internationally acclaimed “Damping Pool” technology.

Since February 2021, BW Ideol is supported by BW Offshore as strategic shareholder. BW Offshore brings an extensive experience from development and operation of complex and capital-intensive offshore energy production systems across the globe.