Today, most wind turbines work on the “bottom-fixed” principle; this means they are fixed to the seabed in waters that must be 60 meters deep or less. These variants require that foundations for the towers upon which the turbines are mounted must be dug – much as they would be on land – using pile drivers.
The depth constraints mean these towers need to be situated relatively close to the shore where much of the kinetic energy is lost in turbulence as it approaches land. While it is possible to locate this type of installation in deeper waters up to 100 meters, where winds are stronger, the cost of doing so is very prohibitive.
In stark contrast, floating turbines can be located in waters up to 800 meters deep. This means they can harness the full potential of the wind further out to sea. Another advantage is that, because floating turbines can be situated further away from land, over the horizon, they represent less of an eyesore that can spoil precious ocean views.
We believe that it is only by harnessing the stronger winds in deeper waters that wind power generation will be able to fulfill its considerable potential and provide clean, sustainable and renewable energy for millions of homes and businesses in the future.