French infrastructure contractor Bouygues Travaux Publics has bought Norwegian consultant Floating Wind Solutions (FWS), a developer of floating wind turbines.
The company said FWS’s patented “OO-Star” technology would enable it to install wind farms in all sorts of marine environments, giving offshore wind developers a cost and time advantage.
Invented by Norwegian engineer Olav Olsen, the OO-Star concept involves a semi-submersible concrete turbine base that is moored by cables to the seabed.
It lets developers install wind farms without building seabed foundations, and allows each turbine to face the correct direction for optimum efficiency.
Turbines and their bases are assembled quayside and towed to their location, doing away with the need for risky lifting operations at sea.
Bouygues said it plans to mass-produce OO-Star turbines for the offshore wind market.
“The investment in this technology is an important step for us because it offers a significant technological advance and speeds up the journey to an essential environmental transformation,” said Philippe Amequin, director general of Bouygues Travaux Publics.