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Floating foundation reduces costs of offshore wind energy

Offshore wind power is one of the most important pillars of an ecologically-renewable energy supply. The construction of classic offshore wind turbines, however, is currently affiliated with enormous technical, environmental and financial challenges. The minimization of these costs and risks is crucial for the future of the offshore wind industry. Another existential question for the industry is how to develop greater water depths with associated high wind yield in the future, since the availability of space for fixed foundations in shallower waters, particularly in the North and Baltic Seas, is already nearly exhausted. Approx. 75% of the global offshore potential is located in areas with water depths greater than 30 meters, at least two-thirds at depths greater than 50 meters.

The GICON® SOF floating offshore foundation offers the ideal solution for these two future issues.

GICON’s SOF development provides a floating substructure for offshore wind turbines which can be deployed in water depths of 18 – 500 meters while achieving LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) below 10 € cent / kWh. This makes GICON one of the global development leaders for floating offshore wind substructures. The R&D project started in 2009 and includes renowned partners such as TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Freiberg Technical University and Mining Academy), Rostock University and Fraunhofer IWES. Based on extensive, successfully conducted tank tests, fabrication of a full-scale prototype of the GICON® SOF commenced in July, 2014.