The innovative project aims to deploy a floating turbine with storage to power remote coastal and island communities.
A floating offshore wind platform equipped with energy storage that aims to bring renewable energy to remote coasts and islands has secured UK government backing for its development, including investigating a possible deployment off India.
The Marlin Star project plans to develop modular floating units capable of supporting a turbine of up to 2 MW and equipped with battery storage, which provide long-term power to coastal communities or are sent as an emergency source after natural disasters.
The platforms would be deployed close to shore in waters too deep for fixed-base offshore wind power, storing the generated power to be exported to shore via conventional cables, or a custom developed “transfer ferry” carrying modules. storage.
A consortium led by technology developer Frontier Technical will use funding from the UK’s Energy Catalyst program to deploy a 15kW turbine on a pilot platform off Plymouth in south-west England next year, with plans to move to a full-scale 2MW prototype within the next two years or so.
They offer a renewable energy source for coastal or island communities far from electricity grids but with good wind resources in deep waters close to the coast, and where solar energy may not be the best option.
Hardcastle said the first studies had identified 30 “great” locations globally for floating deployments near the coast that would give communities an alternative to more polluting energy sources like diesel.
The India-based Institute of Energy and Resources will examine the deployment potential off Gujarat as part of the next phase of the $1.7 million project, in which Durham University will investigate broader opportunities in India and Bangladesh.
The team has identified locations as diverse as the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Scotland and the US state of Oregon as suitable for deployment.
The key to the system is the ability of the platforms to be shipped in standard containers for local assembly, without the need for heavy cargo ships or large port infrastructures, but using an “underwater tugboat” which is another element of the system designed to measure .
The platforms could be deployed as single or multiple units as needed, as they are not comparable to gigantic utility-scale deployments.
Hardcastle added that it was too early to give details of the storage density to be used and the cost of the energy produced by the system.