Floating substation installed at French pilot wind farm site
Bourbon Subsea Services installed a floating electrical hub (FEH) at the EolMed pilot floating wind farm site in France in Autumn 2023, the company revealed on January 9.
The FEH will be connected to the project’s three floating wind turbines on one side and to the export cable on the other to enable the electricity that will be produced by the 30 MW floating wind farm to be transported to the power grid.
The company has been working on the EolMed project under an EPCI contract signed in 2022, which covers the floating electrical hub, inter-array cables, as well as anchoring and mooring systems for the floating wind farm.
The work on delivering the FEH took over a year to prepare and mobilised Bourbon’s engineering, project management and offshore teams for the design, manufacture, towing and installation of the hub and its subsea mooring system, the company says.
According to information available online, the construction of the FEH was performed by the Cyprus-based company Multimarine Services.
Bourbon towed and installed the floating substation in two months, using its anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) Bourbon Liberty 222, equipped with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
For the French company, EolMed is among several floating wind projects the company has been involved in, which include the first floating wind turbine in France, Floatgen, the Kincardine project in Scotland, WindFloat Atlantic in Portugal, and the TetraSpar Demonstrator offshore Norway.
Being developed by Qair, TotalEnergies, and BW Ideol, the EolMed pilot project will comprise three Vestas V164-10.0 MW wind turbines mounted on BW Ideol’s Damping Pool floating foundations and installed 15 kilometers off Gruissan, in water depths of around 60 meters.
The construction of the floating foundations started in Spring 2023 in Port-La Nouvelle with the arrival of the first steel blocks that will make up the three substructures.
The pilot floating wind farm was planned to be commissioned in mid-2024. The installation of the floaters at the project site is now expected to start in June 2025 and the final commissioning is anticipated to take place in the third quarter of next year.