Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Limited has been selected to be the fabrication specialist for a world class team led by Glosten Associates to develop the PelaStar Tension Leg Platform (TLP) foundation system. The project will accelerate development of offshore wind power technology for deployment in the UK’s vast deep water resource and showcase Pelastar into a commercial reality.

This is not the first time that Harland and Wolff’s fabrication expertise has been used as a reference for offshore wind cost reduction programmes; the company has assisted the Crown Estate in a jacket commercialisation exercise and more recently fabricated the Universal Foundation Suction Buckets for EPC Contractor Fred. Olsen United, which had support from the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator programme. The suction installed Universal Foundations are for UK round 3 met mast applications in Dogger Bank and Firth of Forth but are ultimately intended for mass production of turbine foundations.

This latest award compliments Harland and Wolff experience in a range of products from Jackets to Universal Foundations, in a range of water depths from 20 to 60m. Now the company is gaining valuable experience on the construction of floating foundation structures for offshore wind applications in water depths of 60m and greater. It is forecast that this will become a mainstay of the UK’s offshore wind power generation and prove to be a valuable export world-wide.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has selected the Glosten Associates team as the company who will design its offshore wind floating platform system demonstrator. The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study will take about 12 months to complete and cost £4m.

The ETI aims to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy generation by accelerating the deployment of floating wind farms in UK waters. The UK has over a third of the total European potential offshore wind resource – enough to power the country nearly three times over. Exploiting this natural resource economically, particularly in deeper waters off the west of the country, will require significant technology developments to build, operate and support large offshore wind arrays.

The ETI has entrusted the delivery of this massive technological leap with the PelaStar team who have truly global and industry wide membership. In addition to Harland and Wolff as a foundation fabricator the other members are:
• Glosten Associates (Seattle, WA, USA) as team leader and designer;
• Alstom Renovables España S.L. (Barcelona, Spain) to provide their cutting-edge Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine;
• Dockwise (Breda, The Netherlands) to provide the offshore logistics;
• Cefas (Suffolk, UK) leading the environmental review;
• NREL (Golden CO, USA) providing expertise in system modelling, instrumentation and test planning;
• Det Norske Veritas (DNV) (Hovik, Norway) providing project certification;
• Scale model testing by MARIN (Wageningen, The Netherlands).

“We are excited to be selected by ETI for this project. Our well-integrated team will deliver comprehensive, high-end engineering for this platform and its installation, leading us to the successful demonstration of this multi-megawatt floating turbine,” William Hurley, PelaStar Director and Glosten program lead, commented. Glosten President, Jay Edgar adds: “We are proud to bring PelaStar technology to this partnership with ETI. They recognize the technical rigor required of successful offshore programs at this scale and I am confident their clear, long-term commitment to deepwater wind will advance the right technologies to deliver this incredible wind energy resource to consumers in the UK and throughout the world.”

Following the FEED study the next step of the ETI process will be to decide whether to invest up to £21m in the construction and deployment of the TLP, which could be deployed in Wave Hub, off Cornwall as early as 2015.

This is where the massive facilities available at H&W really come into play. Experienced engineering teams, large fabrication workshops and having two 840 tonne gantry cranes serving Europe’s largest building dry dock makes the handling of the massive structures a safe and efficient set of operations.


Lawrence Cobain, Harland and Wolff, Renewable Sales Manager, stated:
“We are delighted to be involved in this new and exciting development. We trust our experience, vast facilities, dedicated and highly skilled workforce will bring a huge benefit to the project.”

Editors’ notes

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries is a subsidiary of Norway-based Fred. Olsen Energy. Based in Belfast H&W is a multi-disciplinary advanced engineering firm with focus on offshore conventional and renewable energy technologies. More information is available at www.harland-wolff.com