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Floating offshore wind gathers momentum

Ideol has been in the news these last few weeks because Floatgen, France’s first offshore wind turbine, has successfully reached two key milestones Bruno G. Geschier, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, at Ideol, came in to PES to talk us through this ground breaking project.

Beyond the completion of the floater construction and the September fitting of the transition piece and the wind turbine at quayside, there were two decisive and delicate operations scheduled this summer: the pre-lay of the mooring lines as well as the float-off, or separation, of the concrete structure from the floating barges on which it was built.

With cost competitiveness being a key driver in this emblematic project, we set out to design an innovative mooring system using nylon ropes several years ago. This being a first-of-a-kind we also had to develop and optimize specific offshore installation methods to ensure smooth, safe and rapid offshore operations.

Having a fully integrated team of engineers covering all phases of the project, from conception to completion, helped us to integrate such offshore installation constraints and specificities very early on in the design and engineering phase, limiting many unforeseen and often costly surprises down the line.

It also helped us collaborate efficiently with suppliers and offshore works specialists as our own team’s offshore background enabled us to go straight to the point on many issues.

Overall the operations went as planned, helping us gain valuable information and experience in the process. We’re already hard at work to further optimise the installation process, as well as make further improvements to our mooring system, as every hour of offshore work saved, translates into immediate substantial savings, particularly in tomorrow’s commercial-scale wind farm context.

The fact we started with a particularly shallow, 32m depth and rough oceanic environment enabled us to also demonstrate that both our design and our innovative mooring system could be certified and insured in the most challenging environments from the get up and go.

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