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A revolutionary platform for floating offshore wind construction

A platform designed to aid in the building and launching of floating wind turbines has been researched with support from Marine-i.

The innovative design has been created by Tugdock Ltd, which is based in Falmouth, Cornwall. The company has patented and produced a novel floating solution to lift structures for various uses. 

The innovation

Lucas Lowe-Houghton, Director of Business Development for Tugdock, explains:

“The Floating Offshore Wind sector is growing fast worldwide, with enormous opportunities now emerging in the Celtic Sea and beyond. However, very few ports have sufficient water depth and assembly space to enable the commercialisation of these huge turbine floaters. 

“Tugdock solves this problem. Our submersible platforms can operate in as little as 5 metres draft, enabling a more efficient construction. The platform is then towed to deeper water for launching of the turbines. Our platform is modular, easy to erect, and reusable. 

“The Tugdock solution potentially means that a much larger number of UK ports could be involved in the fabrication of these structures, creating many new jobs.” 

More than 8% of the total cost of a Floating Offshore Wind farm is accounted for by assembly and installation. Therefore, any innovation that allows this process to be carried out more efficiently and quickly would have a big impact on profitability for developers. 

Marine-i support

Marine-i partner Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult carried out significant desk research for Tugdock, helping them to define the market potential. The company also received grant support from Marine-i.

Simon Cheeseman of Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult said: “The development of floating offshore wind energy in the Celtic Sea is a huge opportunity for Cornwall and the South West. Enabling this technology to reach its full potential will require new thinking and innovative solutions from potential suppliers, just like those being proposed by Tugdock. The Tugdock innovation also has global potential.”

Lucas Lowe-Houghton adds: 

“We are very grateful for this support from Marine-i. Having access to this level of research expertise really helped to accelerate the development of our unique technology, opening up a fast growing global market for us. We are now looking forward to launching our first commercial product on the water in 2023.”

[Image: Tugdock Ltd.]