Manufacturers of offshore wind turbine generators (WTG) have many choices for the floating foundation such as a spar buoy or a high water plane floater.
All the structures are located in the corrosive marine environment, this aspect dictates high strength requirements for the materials.
Traditionally, steel construction or concrete and steel rebar construction are used. However, other innovative technologies such as geopolymer cement with basalt rebar (GCBR) increasingly find their application for marine structures.
Windpower Engineering provides an example of a cost effective durable floating foundation. It is a spar buoy concrete floater with GCBR (basalt reinforced geopolymer concrete). The structure is assembled on a large Ocean Going Deck Barge (OGDB) tied to the quay in the harbor, and commissioned, ready for mating with the substructure at sea. No expensive heavy lift equipment is needed since the OGDB construction and deployment method uses air and water for final assembly of the WTG on top of the substructure after its launch from the OGDB and positioning.
Wind power has come into its own as the preferred source of renewable energy second only to hydroelectric generation as stated by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
According to the forecasts, the following 5-10 years will see the growth both in wind turbine components and the related industries (for example, composites for the wind power). Thus, new technologies will allow for the commercial use of large-scale solutions such as monster wind turbines floating on concrete foundations 20 to 30 miles at sea (30-50 km).