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Samsung Becomes the Latest to Enter Offshore Wind Market

Samsung offshore wind floating design
Design for a quick to build and install floating wind turbine (Samsung)

Published Jul 19, 2021 2:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

Samsung Heavy Industries announced that like many large companies in the shipping industry, the shipbuilder is making forays into the renewable energy market. Attracted by the potential for strong growth in offshore wind installations in the coming decades, Samsung unveiled what it says is an innovative design for floating offshore wind turbines that are quicker to build and install.

Samsung Heavy Industries is targeting both the domestic and global offshore wind power generation market by developing an independent offshore floating wind model. They reported that the Norwegian classification society DNV has awarded an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Samsung’s 9.5-MW large-scale offshore wind floater model known as Tri-Star Float.

“The offshore floater will enable us to make forays into the renewable energy sector using our capacity to build large-scale offshore plants,” said Wang K. Lee, Vice President of Offshore Business Division of SHI. “We believe our development is aligned with the government’s Green New Deal Policy.” 

Design on the floating wind turbine model began in October 2020 drawing on 40 years of data, including wind strength, tide and water depth in Korea’s East Sea. Samsung says the designs have been optimized for operations in extreme marine environments. Model tests on the floating design were carried out in March 2021 at the Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering. 

By removing a pontoon, a steel-frame structure supporting the wind generator on the sea, Samsung says that its compact design will help dramatically shortening the construction period from design and transportation to installation.

Initially, Samsung is targeting South Korea’s government-led Donghae-1 floating wind farm project, which will generate 6 GW of power. The initial project would build a 200 MW floating wind farm off Ulsan in South Korea, close to the existing natural gas field. The Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and the Korean power company Korea East-West Power (EWP) which have been leading the project, recently announcing that the project had completed its preliminary feasibility study. They expect to commence construction in 2022 and generate power in 2024.

The project is part of the Korean Green Deal, which calls for investing more than $42 billion to build a massive wind farm complex off the southwest coast of the country. Over the next decade, the government is targeting the development of a total of over eight gigawatts of wind-generated power as part of its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.