Norwegian offshore wind developer Aker Offshore Wind has outlined plans to utilise Scotland’s first offshore wind underwater substation as part of its bids for major offshore wind farms.
The multi-million subsea innovation would be developed, manufactured, and supplied by Aker Solutions’ Aberdeen facilities in Scotland and also provide future export opportunities for Scottish businesses. “Through innovation, we have the opportunity to implement new technology in the ScotWind leasing round, making Scotland and the UK a global leader in subsea solutions for floating offshore wind and exporting the technology around the world,” said Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK.
Substations are traditionally installed above sea level, but moving them down to the seabed brings several reliability and cost benefits, according to Aker Offshore Wind. Namely, the seawater can be used as a natural cooling system, while reliability is increased through stable temperatures, fewer components and no rotating parts. Furthermore, the company explained that by performing less maintenance and using less material, operational costs can be reduced.
The project would be delivered as a part of the ScotWind licensing process, for which Aker Offshore Wind has teamed up with Ocean Winds to submit a series of floating bids that could deliver up to 6 GW of energy in the Outer Moray Firth. “We know the benefit is there – it will revolutionise how energy is produced and present Scotland with the opportunity to export genuinely innovative technology to the rest of the world,” Lloyd-Rees added.