News & Insights
No results found
06 Jun 2023

Pioneering carbon-cost optimisation in offshore wind foundations

Ed unwin thumbnail banner

Offshore wind allows the UK to harness its naturally strong winds. The ScotWind leasing process enabled developers to apply for seabed rights to plan and then build wind farms in Scottish waters. As much as 27.6GW of new generating capacity will be built over the next decade as a result, and 65% (18GW) of that is earmarked to be floating wind. With turbine ratings expected between 15-20MW, Scottish waters could see over 1,400 new turbine foundations from this lease alone.

Early decision-making for offshore wind is driven by multiple objectives, such as the levelised cost of electricity. Given the scale of buildout and considering the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy, optimising for the embodied carbon different fabrication and transportation scenarios may support scenarios with a higher level of local content.

Kent has worked in partnership with the Institute for Energy Systems at The University of Edinburgh, and our former summer internship student, Clementine Thompson, through a master’s thesis on multi-objective optimisation for carbon emissions and the cost of offshore wind foundations.

The cost and embodied carbon from over 90 offshore wind foundation design scenarios were analysed in order to determine optimal design choices for future ScotWind sites. Support Vector Regression and nonlinear relationships were used to determine the mass of steel and grout required for jackets in water depths between 40-80m with ratings 12-20MW and for steel semi-submersibles from 10-20MW. The embodied carbon from the materials was calculated using data from ecoinvent, the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) and worldwide steel fabricators, and the costs were calculated using steel production costs from World Steel, labour costs and industry rates.

The shipping of the foundations from China, Dubai, Spain and the North of England to Scotland’s Port of Cromarty was also accounted for, using case studies such as the Seagreen and Kincardine wind foundations to determine the types of ship, the number of foundations onboard and the subsequent costs and carbon from the shipping. A theoretical scenario of local manufacture using green steel in Scotland was also considered, using projected costs and embodied carbon.

This enabled embodied carbon (gCO2eq/kWh) to be plotted against its relative cost (£2022/kW) for each scenario to assess the relative carbon-cost optimisation challenge.

Interested to learn more about this research project? Drop by our stand G40 at Renewable UK's Global Offshore Wind 2023 to connect with our Floating Offshore Wind Lead, Ed Unwin.

Discover how we implement multi-objective as Edward Unwin and Robin O’Connell discuss the process for Floating Substation Design:

Related Blogs

You might also like

Events & Awards
Our Baytown Operations Team Wins Gold at the ExxonMobil Safety Excellence Awards Celebrating Safety Excellence
At Kent our Baytown Operations team has been awarded the prestigious Gold award for outstanding safety performance at the ExxonMobil Safety Excellence Awards (SEA).
Press Releases & Featured Stories
Kent secures FEED contract for INEOS Hejre Project in the North Sea
Highlighting our extensive expertise and capabilities in the subsea and offshore sectors
PR Fulcrum web thumb 01 1
Press Releases & Featured Stories
Kent secures FEED contract for UK Sustainable Aviation Fuel Project with Fulcrum BioEnergy
Kent secures FEED contract for UK Sustainable Aviation Project with Fulcrum BioEnergy.
PR Spiorad na Mara Web Thumbnail
Press Releases & Featured Stories
Kent Secures Pre-FEED Assessment Contract for the Spiorad na Mara Offshore Wind Project
Kent awarded Spiorad na Mara Limited contract for pre-front end engineering design assessment of proposed offshore wind farm
Earth Day thumbnail
Sustainability. by Kent
Join the Global Movement for Earth Day 2024
Join the Global Movement for Earth Day 2024
Oil Gas AI Digital Solutions web thumb
Insights & Opinions
The Journey of AI in the Oil & Gas Industry
Wassim Ghadban speaks to Oil & Gas Middle East about how AI is changing the game in the Oil & Gas industry
Kent X Exxonmobil
Press Releases & Featured Stories
Kent plays integral role in ExxonMobil's investment in Fawley UK petrochemical complex
Kent is helping to deliver construction, completion, and commissioning of a new Diesel Hydrotreater and a Steam Methane Reforming Hydrogen Plant
Kent X Repsol Norge thumbnail 2
Press Releases & Featured Stories
Kent Wins Landmark 3-Year Framework Contract with Repsol Norge
Kent have been awarded a comprehensive 3-year framework contract with Repsol Norge for various operations in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea
Craft 3
the energy within.

By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.