A Dutch consortium including four applied research institutes (MARIN, TNO, Deltares and WUR) is exploring the potential of combining a partially permanent and partially floating island.
Floating offshore islands can be utilised for storage, energy processing and the maintenance of wind farms situated far off the coast. But this is difficult in the North Sea where the sea is rough with a lot of swell. Currently there are seven wind farms in the Dutch North Sea that jointly generate 2.5 GW of renewable electricity. Offshore wind energy already supplies the Netherlands with a significant proportion of its electricity, and this will grow considerably in the years ahead.
Erik-Jan de Ridder in the test basin of Deltares
“This research is important because the northern North Sea is quite rough. That makes it difficult to have a completely floating island,” says Project Manager Erik-Jan de Ridder. “A floating island is also future-proof. You can construct an island with functions that are needed at that point in time but in 10 years' time, the circumstances may have changed. Floating parts are easier to expand and replace.”
The HybridEnerSeaHub is a joint project of a Dutch consortium, with each having its own speciality: MARIN (floating structures), Deltares (permanent infrastructure and environmental conditions), TNO (costs, risks, strength of materials), Wageningen Marine Research (environmental impact), RoyalHaskoning DHV and Offshore Service Facilities (design and construction).