SEAI-funded research to lead international development of floating windfarms
Irish research is at the forefront of international efforts to accelerate the development of large-scale floating wind energy (FLOW) farms thanks to a new SEAI-funded project entitled IDEA-IRL: Integrated Design of FLOW Arrays – Ireland. The €800,000 project will produce a long-term FLOW development roadmap for Ireland, identifying recommendations to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits.
This project is coordinated by SFI research centre MaREI and project partners Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions and Wind Energy Ireland.
According to risk management experts DNV by 2050 FLOW will generate 264 GW. Irish offshore wind is a considerable natural resource, with targets to deploy 5GW of fixed offshore wind by 2030 (with 2GW of FLOW in development) and 30GW of FLOW thereafter.
In 2020, GDG and UCC recognised the critical need to tackle the challenges to large-scale FLOW development and explore the immense potential of this industry for Ireland, and globally. Following a three-day meeting to discuss the topic with 103 leading international FLOW experts, GDG; the US’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and France’s IFP Energies Nouvelles initiated a project to address the pressing research requirements for FLOW arrays under the esteemed framework of the International Energy Association Wind Technology Collaboration Programme.
Among its goals are the delivery of a set of fully defined reference sites characteristic of the international global FLOW deployment pipeline; a set of fully open source and customisable reference farm designs including key engineering tool input files, cost and environmental impact models; and an increased awareness of FLOW energy technology, related research and expertise in Ireland.
The IDEA project (IEA TCP Wind Task 49) began in 2022 and encompasses more than 100 organisations from 11 countries. The work primarily relies on the collaboration and alignment of national and international research projects rather than direct funding. IDEA-IRL will support Ireland’s involvement in Task 49 and facilitate more in-depth and Ireland-specific research into FLOW array opportunities.