Windstaller Alliance hired for subsea installation scope of FloWatt tidal pilot

Windstaller Alliance, the joint venture of Norwegian companies Aker Solutions, DeepOcean and Solstad Offshore, has been subcontracted to deliver the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the subsea installation scope of the FloWatt tidal pilot to be installed offshore Normandy, France.

Illustration of the FloWatt subsea field. Courtesy of Windstaller Alliance

The study is financed by the European Union program “The Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project”, known as TIGER, which aims to drive the growth of tidal stream energy to become a greater part of the energy mix, with significant benefits for coastal communities.

Located in the Raz Blanchard passage, at the northwestern tip of France, the FloWatt project incorporates seven 2.5 MW tidal turbines of HydroQuest technology – 17.5 MW in total. It is expected to be the world’s most powerful tidal power farm.

The FEED awarded to Windstaller Alliance covers the installation of a subsea HV power collection system which connects seven off 2.5 MW tidal turbines to a subsea connection hub, inter-array cables, and power export cable to shore.

Windstaller Alliance will deliver its FEED installation scope as a subcontractor to Aker Solutions, which has been appointed by HydroQuest to deliver the complete FEED study for the subsea interconnection system of the FloWatt project. The FEED will be completed in the summer of 2023. The intention is to utilize the most efficient partner resources during a potential build-out of the project.

“There is a lot of cross-over between the installation of subsea power equipment for tidal power and offshore wind. In principle, it is about safely and cost-effectively making the necessary installations to connect the subsea equipment offshore and install the equipment required to bring the power to shore. This is what Windstaller Alliance does,” said Guro Høyaas Løken, head of Windstaller Alliance.

“The FloWatt is an excellent example of why the Windstaller Alliance was established. By pooling together specialist resources from various disciplines – from subsea power and technology experts to installation specialists and the people operating the vessel – we can cut interfaces, reduce project risk and develop a robust and cost-efficient plan for installation.”

The FloWatt project is developed by tidal power turbine technology developer and renewable energy developer HydroQuest and independent renewable energy producer Qair. The final investment decision for the project is expected in 2024, with a potential EPCI contract award in the same year.

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The FloWatt project is already approved by French authorities. There are also concrete plans for several 250 MW and 500 MW tidal parks in the same area (up to 2-3.5 GW).

“Tidal power is perhaps somewhat unfairly overlooked as a renewable energy source, but the fact is that – unlike wind and solar power – you know exactly when and how much energy will be produced. We will do our best during the FEED to help realise the FloWatt project, which will position us well for a potential future development of the project,” Høyaas Løken concluded.

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