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China Commissioning First Deep-Sea Floating Offshore Wind Turbine

China floating deep sea offshore wind turbine
Floating 7.25 MW wind turbine will be deployed in deep, ocean sea conditions (CNOOC)

Published May 9, 2023 6:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

China reports it has completed the installation of its first floating, deep-sea, wind turbine which will be used to power an offshore oil field. Developed and owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the wind turbine is being reported as a breakthrough due to its ability to handle harsh sea conditions in deep and open seas. CNOOC reports it will be a model for opening up the far offshore wind sector.

The turbine, known as CNOOC Guanlan, was completed in March. It was built in the Zhuhai region and on March 26 departed for placement at the Wenchang Oilfield, which consists of oil and gas platforms.

The wind turbine is reported to weigh over 11,000 tons with its foundation and was positioned nearly 85 miles offshore. It is floating in a position with a water depth of more than 325 feet. The overall height of the structure stands more than 650 feet. The Chinese engineer placed the turbine atop a triangular floating foundation with three side columns and one center post to hold the wind turbine. The ballast system weighs 4,000 tons. 

Last week, CNOOC reported that the placement of the dynamic submarine cable measuring over three miles in length had been completed. They report the cable was designed to withstand conditions up to nearly a depth of 400 feet. It is composed of three 35 kV cables and three 12-core fiber optic cables. Dynamic ship positioning technology and monitoring by underwater robots were used to improve the installation accuracy. 

With the 7.25 MW turbine now in position, and the subsea cable installed, CNOOC reports the final commission will proceed. Once the turbine is generating power. They expect it will have an annual generation capacity of 22 million kilowatt hours.