MacGregor utilises its extensive offshore expertise to provide complete, safe and reliable mooring solutions for floating offshore wind turbines.
Floating wind farms are a promising source of renewable energy. The winds are stronger out at sea than inland, making offshore turbines the most efficient source of wind energy. A wind speed increase of 3 mph can double the energy output of wind turbines. The wind also tends to be more stable further from the coast, meaning that floating wind farms can be a more reliable source of renewable energy than land-based or coastal alternatives.
Furthermore, floating wind turbines require little in the way of foundations, which reduces their impact on the local environment compared to fixed installations closer to the coast.
Mooring of offshore wind turbines is, however, a major technological challenge, requiring both innovation and adaptation of existing offshore technologies.
MacGregor provides complete, tried and tested mooring solutions for wind turbines. Building on decades of experience developing mooring solutions for floating offshore installations, MacGregor has adapted its offshore mooring system for floating wind turbine applications.
The system consists of flexible and reliable tensioners, winches, chain stoppers and subsea connectors for a variety of depths and seabed conditions. When quayside maintenance is needed, the mooring lines can be disconnected, allowing the platform to be towed back to the coast.
MacGregor has delivered safe and reliable mooring solutions to floating offshore installations in some of the world’s harshest environments, including the North Sea and the hurricane-prone Gulf of Mexico.
The company also delivered pioneering mooring solutions to Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm. Hywind has been operational since 2017, and is currently powering some 20 000 homes in the UK.
As the world moves away from fossil fuel energy sources and towards renewables, the global offshore wind market is expected to grow from an estimated USD 27 billion in 2017 to around USD 55 billion by 2022.