Aker Solutions has signed an agreement with the METCentre to test its Subsea Collector, an underwater power distribution system designed for floating offshore wind farms.
The Subsea Collector is engineered to connect multiple wind turbines in a star configuration instead of the traditional daisy chain pattern. This reduces the length of cable needed per turbine, and promises to cut down on the required vessel time, both of which will lead to reduced costs. Preliminary assessments indicate that such a system could yield cost savings of up to 10% for a 1GW floating wind farm.
The test will be conducted at the METCentre’s offshore wind test area near Karmøy, Norway. This area currently hosts two floating wind turbines, but plans are underway to expand this to seven turbines by 2026.
This system is a collaborative effort, with the 66kV wet mate connection system provided by Benestad and subsea switchgear with supervisory control and data acquisition by ABB. The installation will be conducted by the Windstaller Alliance, a partnership comprising Aker Solutions, DeepOcean, and Solstad Offshore. Aker Solutions is also responsible for the static export cable to shore.
According to Arvid Nesse, CEO of METCentre and of NorthWind partner organisation Norwegian Offshore Wind, the project not only showcases Norwegian subsea expertise but also contributes to global innovation in floating offshore wind.
“The project demonstrates how Norwegian subsea expertise from the oil and gas industry drives innovation forward within floating offshore wind on a global scale,” says Nesse.