On 5 September Saipem and Siemens Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of a cutting-edge technology solution in the offshore wind sector. This is a concept design for a 500 MW high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) floating electrical substation for use in offshore wind farms.

This kind of substation, for installation in deep water areas, offers several advantages, such as a lighter substructure, an easier and asset-light installation in challenging conditions, and lower decommissioning costs.

The concept will be based on a proven semi-submersible substructure, is designed to operate in the most extreme environments with enhanced stability, and can be scaled up as required. In addition, the design will address the industrialisation phase as it can be adapted to fabrication and assembly infrastructures worldwide. The floating substation could also represent a tangible solution for reducing the levelised cost of energy of floating wind farms.

The rationale of this combination of effort is that Saipem’s expertise in the engineering of complex and sustainable offshore infrastructures, including floating solutions, will be combined with Siemens Energy’s broad transmission portfolio to develop ‘a cutting-edge, standardised and scalable technology’.

Fabrizio Botta, CCO of Saipem, commented: “The new concept will be an enabler to enhance offshore wind developments in deeper waters by lowering the overall infrastructure investment. This agreement further confirms Saipem’s ambition to strengthen its leadership role in the offshore wind market by delivering industrialised and standard solutions.”