Feasibility of Floating Platform Systems for Wind Turbines: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper provides a general technical description of several types of floating platforms for wind turbines. Platform topologies are classified into multiple- or single-turbine floaters and by mooring method. Platforms using catenary mooring systems are contrasted to vertical mooring systems and the advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Specific anchor types are described in detail. Arough cost comparison is performed for two different platform architectures using a generic 5-MW wind turbine. One platform is a Dutch study of a tri-floater platform using a catenary mooring system, and the other is a mono-column tension-leg platform developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Cost estimates showed that single unit production cost is $7.1 M for the Dutch tri-floater,and $6.5 M for the NREL TLP concept. However, value engineering, multiple unit series production, and platform/turbine system optimization can lower the unit platform costs to $4.26 M and $2.88 M, respectively, with significant potential to reduce cost further with system optimization. These foundation costs are within the range necessary to bring the cost of energy down to the DOE target rangeof $0.05/kWh for large-scale deployment of offshore floating wind turbines.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2003
Event23rd ASME Wind Energy Symposium - Reno, Nevada
Duration: 5 Jan 20048 Jan 2004


Conference23rd ASME Wind Energy Symposium
CityReno, Nevada

Bibliographical note

Prepared for the 23rd ASME Wind Energy Symposium, 5-8 January 2004, Reno, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-34874


  • Anchor Systems
  • deep water
  • floating platforms
  • wind energy


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