12. February 2024 | Press releases:

INF4INiTY – a joint innovative floating offshore wind project A large EU consortium joins efforts to develop integrated nature-inclusive designs for future floating offshore wind farm technology

The importance of an increased exploitation of renewable energy sources to mitigate the anthropogenic climate change and foster a more sustainable energy mix is recognised globally. In particular, in Europe, the tremendous potential of floating offshore wind will play an important role in the future to achieve the ambitious goals of the European Commission towards a climate-neutral energy transition. However, the required expansion of floating offshore wind capacity to achieve, e.g., the EU’s SET Plan targets, challenges the goal to protect and preserve bio-diversity in the EU sea basins. The INF4INiTY project will support the solution of this European and global challenge by developing nature-inclusive designs for subsea components of floating offshore wind installations.

Base of the floating offshore wind turbine Prototype. Picture credits: GICON

On the 30th of January 2024, the project Integrated Designs for Future Floating Offshore Wind Farm Technology (INF4INiTY) kicked-off. INF4INiTY is a 48-month project funded by the European Union under the Horizon-Europe framework programme consisting of 13 partners from 8 European countries (Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Norway, Italy and Spain). INF4INiTY will be a joint effort of six higher education institutions, two research institutes, three engineering companies, one large company and one SME.

“By developing critical technologies for the offshore wind farm of the future, INF4INiTY will contribute to solves the current techno-socio-enviro-economic challenges of the floating offshore wind industry.”, says project coordinator Dr. Christian Windt of the Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS). Prof. Nils Goseberg of TUBS adds that “the INF4INiTY solutions will balance human needs, such as clean energy, with nature’s and society’s demands of decreased negative environmental and social impact.”

INF4INiTY is poised to revolutionize offshore wind technology with two groundbreaking innovations: (1) the innovative Nature Inclusive Design (NID) for gravity anchors and their associated scour protection system (GASP), and (2) the innovative primary artificial reef structure (ARS) integrated into GICON’s floating offshore wind design.

These innovations are meticulously advancing through Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5, with comprehensive data collection, certification milestones, and a clear roadmap to commercialization. Project Manager at GICON GmbH Dr-Ing. Frank Adam echoed these sentiments, stating, “INF4INiTY’s unwavering commitment to achieving TRL5 and beyond for selected sites is a testament to its dedication to innovation and sustainability, paving the way for a new era of environmentally conscious offshore wind power.”

“INF4INiTY’s commitment to balancing engineering requirements with ecosystem preservation sets a new standard for sustainable offshore wind development,” added project leader M.Sc. Vinay Kumar Vanjakula.

The consortium in Germany at TU Braunschweig for the kick-off meeting. Picture credits: Ahmed Nassef/TU Braunschweig)

The capacity of the technology innovations to allow the floating structures to interact favorably with their surrounding environment will be evaluated and benchmarked during the INF4INiTY project. Moreover, the intention to demonstrate their capacity in core areas for offshore wind (Baltic Sea, Scottish Waters and Adriatic Sea) provides confidence in their future application. As part of evaluating the EIA and ESIA aspects of the project, along with setting a benchmark for floating offshore wind, these innovations have a strong market potential for application in present and future offshore wind farms.

To achieve these ambitious goals, INF4INiTY combines world class numerical modelling and experimental analysis expertise with leading industrial technology development. Being immersed in a holistic techno-environomic, multi-level, multi-objective optimisation framework, INF4INiTY’s technology development results in truly innovative, economically viable, and sustainable solutions for the floating offshore wind industry.

Project data

The project partners are TU Braunschweig, Leibniz Universität Hannover, WIKKI Gesellschaft für numerische Kontinuumsmechnik mbH, GICON® Group, Institute of Hydro-Engineering of Polish Academy of Sciences, BM SUMER Consultancy & Research, NIRAS, Aquatera Atlántico SL, Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa, Politecnico Di Torino, Gent University, SINTEF Ocean AS und Danmarks Tekniske Universitet. INF4INiTY is funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon Europe programme with around six million euros, of which 600,000 euros will go to TU Braunschweig.