FLOAT&M project to optimise operation and maintenance activities in floating wind farms

FLOAT&M was founded with the aim of providing a comprehensive solution focused on the operations and maintenance (O&M) of floating wind farms. This thriving, innovative industry is one of the key present and future alternatives for generating renewable energy and provides a clear alternative for reducing CO2 emissions.

In fact, by 2030 floating wind power is expected to have grown from its current position of developing prototypes, with barely 100 MW installed, to having more than 16 GW installed by the end of the decade, deploying commercial wind farms in the second half of the decade.

Given the exponential growth of the sector, the project’s main motivation is to respond to the challenges that arise within O&M services in floating wind energy developments. The need to improve their efficiency, make it easier to monitor their condition and reduce offshore wind technical staff interventions is key to increasing the competitiveness of projects.

Therefore, FLOAT&M intends to take advantage of the knowledge and experience acquired in the research and development of new equipment such as drones, robots and connectors, digital solutions, new materials and anti-corrosion solutions through developing new technologies to offer the offshore wind market a competitive technology-based solution.

Companies in the sector will be able to improve these areas by obtaining relevant information on the operating condition and state of health of elements and systems, managing and processing this information and acting on the system in real time.

The results obtained from this initiative will make it possible to increase the reliability of floating offshore wind assets, reduce the number of hours not in operation, monitor the condition of the wind asset by enabling improved operation and maintenance strategies, reduce the need for access to the floating platforms, increase the safety of the people involved in operating the installations and, lastly, contribute to the sustainability of the continued operation of offshore wind turbines, thereby increasing their useful life.

FLOAT&M represents a unique opportunity for the Basque Country and highlights the strengths of the companies involved. It also encourages collaboration that will enable Basque industry to differentiate itself on the market. The consortium is made up of the following companies: Saitec Offshore Technologies, project coordinator and developer of a floating wind platform; Aeroblade, specialist engineering in wind asset management; Alerion, specialist in wind turbine inspection using drones; Core Marine, Specialist engineering in offshore systems monitoring; Ditrel, developer of electrical connectors for floating platforms; Egoa Energía, company specialising in O&M and maintenance engineering for the wind power sector; Inalia, company specialising in sensor systems, digital twins and predictive analysis of structural health; Lumiker, developer of optical sensors for asset monitoring; Mugape, expert in surface coatings; Nautilus, developer of a floating wind platform; Navacel, manufacturer of transition parts and large metallic infrastructures; Sener, specialist engineering in new digital developments; Sidenor, manufacturer of special steels for the offshore wind sector; and Vicinay Cadenas and Vicinay Sestao, manufacturer of mooring lines for floating platforms. The project’s Advisory Committee also includes two of the leading companies in the sector: Iberdrola and Siemens Gamesa.