The innovative project aims to deploy a floating turbine with storage to power remote coastal and island communities.

A floating offshore wind platform equipped with energy storage that aims to bring renewable energy to remote coasts and islands has secured UK government support for its development, including exploring a possible offshore deployment from India.

The Marlin Star project plans to develop modular floating units capable of supporting a turbine up to 2 MW and equipped with storage batteries, which provide long-term energy to coastal communities or are sent as an emergency source after natural disasters.

The platforms would be deployed close to shore in waters too deep for fixed-base offshore wind power, storing the energy generated to be exported to land via conventional cables, or a custom-designed ‘transfer ferry’. to transport modules.

A consortium led by technology developer Frontier Technical will use funding from the UK Energy Catalyst program to deploy a 15kW turbine to a pilot platform off Plymouth, in the south-west of England, next year, with plans to move to a full-scale 2 MW prototype within the next two years or so.

They provide a renewable energy source for coastal or island communities far from power grids but with good wind resources in deep waters close to the coast, and where solar power may not be the best option.

Hardcastle said early studies identified 30 “magnificent” places around the world for floating deployments near the coast that would give communities an alternative to more polluting energy sources like diesel.

The Indian Institute of Energy and Resources will examine the potential for deployment off Gujarat as part of the next phase of the $ 1.7 million project, in which Durham University will examine broader opportunities by India and Bangladesh.

The team identified sites as diverse as the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Scotland, and the US state of Oregon as potentially deployable.

The key to the system is the ability of the platforms to be shipped in standard containers for local assembly, without the need for heavy freighters or large port infrastructure, but using an “underwater tug” which is another element. of the system designed to measure.

The platforms could be deployed as single or multiple units as needed as they are not comparable to gigantic utility scale deployments.

Hardcastle added that it was too early to give details on the density of storage to be used and the cost of the energy produced by the system.