AFLOWT Project Update

Development continues for the AFLOWT project, an ambitious €31 million floating offshore wind project. AFLOWT (Accelerating market uptake of Floating Offshore Wind Technology) aims to demonstrate the survivability and cost-competitiveness of a floating offshore wind technology. Funding for the project is sourced from Interreg North West Europe to accelerate the uptake of floating offshore wind.

The five-year project, launched in 2019, is led by EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre) working with technology partner SAIPEM and test site owner SEAI, along with MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands), UCC (University College Cork), ESB (Electricity Supply Board), Fraunhofer IWES (Institute for Wind Energy Systems) and CaLiCyA (Cable Life Cycle Assurance).

To secure the possibility of a full-scale deployment of SAIPEM’s Hexafloat technology by the end of 2023, the Hexafloat demonstrator deployment will now take place along the French Mediterranean coast at the MISTRAL test site. MISTRAL’s license for 10 MW floating offshore wind was obtained in 2014.

Deployment at the MISTRAL test site allows the completion of the AFLOWT project objectives by making the Hexafloat technology ready for commercial uptake. This move to testing at the MISTRAL test site will enable the key aim of the AFLOWT project to be achieved, demonstrating the survivability and cost-competitiveness of a floating offshore wind technology adapted to harsh environments.

The lessons learned on the AFLOWT project and at the SEAI Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) will continue to benefit the North West region after technology deployment is moved to MISTRAL, thanks to the floater design being tested in real offshore conditions and adjusted for North West Atlantic conditions.

Meanwhile, SEAI continue site development at AMETS in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Site development includes onshore civil works for substation build and grid reinforcements and offshore works for electricity export cable deployment. AMETS is to be ready for offshore energy technology deployment by the end of the AFLOWT project in 2023.