The Anonymous Widower

Hexicon Wins UK’s First Ever CfD Auction For Floating Offshore Wind

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Hexicon.

This is the first paragraph.

Today (7th of July) the UK Government confirmed that Hexicon AB’s TwinHub project in the Celtic Sea was successful in the latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round (AR4). It has been awarded a CfD for its 32MW floating wind project at a strike price of £87.30/MWh (2012 real prices) taking the project a significant step closer to completion.

This image shows one otheir TwinWind turbine installation being towed into place.

The Twinhub home page has a title of The First Floating Offshore Wind Project in The Celtic Sea.

This is the description on the page.

The TwinHub offshore wind demonstration project intends to prove how Hexicon’s innovative design with two turbines on one floating foundation can further reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (also referred to as LCoE) before large scale commercialisation. The TwinHub project is a stepping stone to help kick-start floating wind in the Celtic Sea, an area identified as a hotspot for floating wind by the UK Government. It will pave the path for larger and larger projects to help support The Crown Estates’ ambitious target of 4GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea.

Scroll the page down and there is a short video of a pair of wind turbines in operation.

  • It appears that when there is no wind, it automatically goes into a safe parked mode.
  • As the wind rises, one turbine starts up.
  • The second turbine starts up and the float turns so they face the wind.

It appears to be a classic example of disruptive innovation.

I did the calculations for floating and reusable oil and gas platforms in the 1970s, that were designed by two Cambridge University professors, which would have been launched horizontally and upturned when in position. This experience leads me to believe that the Swedish designers of this type of platform have been able to verify that this is a workable design.

This document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy indicates that the demonstration is for 32 MW.

Does that indicate, that this installation is twin 16 MW wind turbines?

16 MW seems to be the size of the largest wind turbines in the world.

There is a lot to like about this Swedish design.

  • As the video shows, it appears to balance itself with the wind.
  • I suspect from the calculations I did in Cambridge, that the twin design with its higher weight is more stable than a floating single turbine design.
  • The float and its two turbines can be assembled alongside a dock with a large stable onshore dockside crane.
  • Servicing would also be done in a dock.
  • Working onshore is much safer and easier, than working offshore.
  • The twin design allows more power to be generated in a given area of sea.

This is a brilliant concept and it will give Putin, the Sheikhs and the other oil dictators, the most terrible of nightmares.

The initial site chosen for this design in the UK, will be in the sea at Hayle in Cornwall.

This map shows the location.

Hayle is in the North-East corner of the map, by the sandy beach.

A 32 MW turbine could probably provide enough electricity for 15,000 houses.

July 8, 2022 - Posted by | Energy | , , , , ,


  1. just been looking up some more details on this. gives more details on the Wave Hub. It seems it’s 10 miles out to sea. As you say, it will be interesting to see how this technology develops.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 8, 2022 | Reply

    • I think it’s nothing to do with the wave hub, except they will probably use the same substation.

      I think the UK has got in first with this technology. I do feel that KK has left the new PM, an amazing golden hello with 11 GW of energy contracts signed. There’s a contract for everyone in this press release.

      Comment by AnonW | July 8, 2022 | Reply

      • Hexicon bought the Wave Hub in order to use it for this project They’re using the Wave Hub cable to take power to the substation on shore. It’s good projects like this are able to use some of these old substations dotted around the country.
        According to their website, they have a similar project underway in Norway, scheduled for completion next year.

        Floating wind is still in its infancy, but could potentially be huge. I was pleased to see tidal power supported by the CfD. The price struck for them is a lot higher than for wind/solar, but the potential for reliable year-round power is much greater.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 8, 2022

  2. I think the government has been clever in the way they’ve allocated contracts. No-one can complain about a rival’s price for a similar project.

    Comment by AnonW | July 8, 2022 | Reply

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