The Anonymous Widower

The Salamander Project

The Salamander project may be a strange name for a proposed Scottish offshore wind farm, but that is what it is.

It is being developed by Ørsted and the Simply Blue Group.

There is a web site, which has this bold mission statement.

Helping To Unlock Scotland’s Floating Offshore Wind.

These paragraphs outline the project.

The Salamander project will utilise innovative and cutting-edge floating offshore wind technologies to produce zero-carbon electricity. The development aims to be a stepping stone to help Scotland and the UK to progress towards a net-zero future.

With a proposed 100 MW pre-commercial size project, the Salamander project which is located off Peterhead in the East coast of Scotland, is in an advanced planning stage. Salamander has a strong focus on supply chain development and will provide an opportunity for the local supply chain to gear up for commercial scale opportunities in Scotland, as well as de-risking floating wind technologies for the future commercial projects in Scotland and beyond. This will allow Scotland to maximise the financial benefit of its strong offshore wind resource and generate long term jobs for its local communities.

The project will contribute to the Scottish government’s target of 11 GW of installed offshore wind by 2030, as well as the UK government’s target of 5 GW of operational floating offshore wind by the same date.

There is also a video, which is very much a must-watch.

Floating offshore wind is a relatively new technology and will become the major generator of the world’s electricity within the next decade.

Note this phrase in the first paragraph.

The development aims to be a stepping stone to help Scotland and the UK to progress towards a net-zero future.

This philosophy is shared with other projects.

In DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland, I said this.

They are also developing the Gwynt Glas offshore wind farm in the UK sector of the Celtic Sea.

  • In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and
    expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.
  • The wind farm is located between Pembroke and Cornwall.

The addition of Gwynt Glas will increase the total of floating offshore wind in the UK section of the Celtic Sea.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Gwynt Glas – 1000 MW Project – 50 miles offshore

This makes a total of 2.2 GW, with investors from several countries.

It does seem that the Celtic Sea is becoming the next area of offshore wind around the British Isles to be developed.

These Celtic Sea wind farms include Erebus, which like Salamander is a 100 MW demonstration project.

Salamander And Erebus Compared

Consider.

  • Both are 100 MW floating wind demonstration projects.
  • Salamander and Erebus are 27 and 21 miles offshore respectively.
  • Salamander and Erebus are close to the deepwater ports of Peterhead and Milford Haven.
  • Both are described as stepping-stone projects.
  • Both projects talk about developing supply chains.
  • The developers of Salamander and Erebus include Ørsted and EDF Renewables respectively, who are both big beasts of the offshore wind industry.

Both wind farms are in areas, where the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments want to develop massive offshore wind farms, that will eventually total over 50 GW. I believe that Salamander and Erebus will indicate any problems, that will be likely to occur in the building of these massive offshore floating wind farms.

It is a very sensible plan and could lead to an energy rich future for the UK.

How Long Will It Take To Assemble A Floating Wind Turbine?

Each floating wind turbine requires these major components.

  • A wind turbine, which in the Kincardine Wind Farm have a capacity of 9.5 MW, is obviously needed. Some proposed floating offshore wind farm are talking of turbines between 14 and 16 MW. These turbines will be very similar to onshore turbines.
  • A float, usually made out of steel or possibly concrete. Various designs have been built or proposed. The Wikipedia entry for floating wind turbine gives several examples.
  • The anchoring system to keep the float with its turbine in the desired position.
  • The electrical system to connect the wind turbine to the offshore substation, which could also be floating.

Note that the designs for the float, anchoring and electrical systems will rely heavily on technology proven in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Principle Power are the designer of the WindFloat, which is one of the first floats to be used in floating offshore wind.

Their home page has a continuous full-screen video, that shows a WindFloat being assembled and towed out.

The video shows.

  • The completed float being floated alongside a dock, which obviously has an appropriate water depth.
  • The dock has a large crane.
  • The turbine tower and then the blades being lifted into position and securely fixed.
  • Finally, a tug tows the completed turbine/float assembly to its position in the wind farm.

This would appear to be an assembly operation, that could flow just like the production in any world-class vehicle factory.

  • There would need to be just-in-time delivery of all components.
  • The weather would need to be cooperative.
  • Lighting might be needed to work in poorer light levels.
  • This method of assembly would be turbine and float agnostic.
  • Multiple shift working could be employed.

My project management involvement tells me, that it would not be unreasonable to assemble, at least one complete turbine and its float and accessories in a working day.

I can do a small calculation.

The average size of turbine is 15 MW.

One turbine is assembled per day.

There are 300 working days possible in a year with multiple shift working, ignoring Bank Holidays and bad weather.

Just one site could produce 4.5 GW of floating wind turbines per year.

How Many Production Sites Could There Be?

These are surely the best possibilities.

  • Barrow
  • Belfast
  • Clyde
  • Devon/Cornwall
  • Forth Estuary
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Haven Ports
  • Holyhead
  • Humber
  • Liverpool
  • Milford Haven
  • Peterhead
  • Southampton Water
  • South Wales
  • Teesside
  • Thames Estuary

I have named sixteen areas, that could be suitable for the assembly of floating wind turbines.

So let’s assume that eight will be developed. That could mean as much as 36 GW of capacity per year.

The Energy Density Of Floating Wind Farms

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I summarised the latest round of Scotwind offshore wind leases.

  • Six new fixed foundation wind farms will give a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².
  • Ten new floating wind farms will give a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Returning to the earlier calculation, which says we could have the ability to create 36 GW of wind turbines per year, with 15 MW turbines, this means with a generating density of 3.5 MW per km², the 36 GW would take up around a hundred kilometre square of sea.

Conclusion

We will become Europe’s powerhouse.

October 15, 2022 - Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. At least they are endeavouring to increase local sourcing but the UK needs to get its act together as we are at the mercy of overseas companies for all the high value kit and whats to stop overseas countries blocking sale to the UK or prioritising their own needs as many countries are playing catch up to install wind. Low risk but the world isn’t functioning as well as it did but with 70% of the value of a wind farm going to overseas suppliers and with our ambitious programme we need to change this ratio.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 15, 2022 | Reply


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