Father and son learn about floating offshore wind
Every June, Norwegian students follow a family member to work, getting a sneak peek into a possible future career. In preparation for this week of work experience, students have the opportunity to "shadow" their parents during a day at work some 12 months earlier. For William Århus Fosen (age 13), he joined his father in Gard – learning about marine insurance, loss prevention - and the future of offshore wind.
Son of Jarle Fosen, Senior Loss Prevention Executive in Gard, William shadowed his father for a couple of days, allowing him to learn about Gard and their involvement in the renewable energy sector, his father’s role in the Loss Prevention department, and firsthand insight into what happens at an offshore wind conference.
At the Floating Wind 2022 conference in Haugesund, hosted by the Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster, William learned about how the world´s need for renewable energy is accelerating. Arvid Nesse, the CEO of Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster told him how this new technology is being promoted to create new jobs and opportunities for the developers and supply chain in the Norwegian market. There are many challenges to be solved, including changes to ships and operations, ports and infrastructure to accommodate the construction of offshore floating wind farms. Further work includes designing the technology and testing it and once proven fit for use, as well as scaling it up for widespread adoption.
William also learned a lot through interaction with the 350 industry representatives attending the conference. They all eagerly shared their knowledge - some giving inspiring key notes, having B2B meetings and taking part in lively debates on how to tackle the challenges related to floating offshore wind.
Excursion to floating windmills
After two days inside the conference venue, it was exciting to finally be invited onboard a highspeed boat for an excursion out to the METCentre where they are testing new marine renewable energy technologies, including floating windmills.
Founded in 2009, the test area is situated some 10 km off the West Cost of Norway, outside Haugesund and close to the recently released Utsira Nord floating offshore wind field. The center provides infrastructure and services required for testing in deep waters (typical 200+ metres).
Gard lead insurer
Here William could see the world’s very first floating wind turbine, the Zefyros (Ex Hywind demo installed in 2009 by Equinor, now owned by Unitech), where Gard is the lead insurer. Today the turbine is available for research and technology development as a part of the Sustainable Energy Catapult. As highlighted by Gunnar Birkeland, CEO of Unitech Energy Group, the Hywind Demo project paved way for the world’s first commercial wind farm using floating wind turbines, Hywind Scotland. This facility has been in operation since 2017 and was the first floating offshore wind project insured by Gard.
William also saw the TetraSpar Demonstrator that started the test period at the METCentre last summer. Bringing floating wind to the next level with its modular layout, the TetraSpar Demonstrator consists of a tubular steel main structure with a suspended keel. It is expected to offer important competitive advantages over existing floating wind concepts, with the potential for leaner manufacturing, assembly and installation processes with lower material costs.
As part of his following a family member to work, William interviewed his father, and later presented a summary to his class mates.
At the Floating Wind 2022 conference, William was introduced to Gunnar Birkeland, CEO of Unitech Energy Group and owners of the Zephyros turbine, today used for research and technology development as a part of the Sustainable Energy Catapult.
Considering a maritime career
Looking back at his days as a young ‘intern’ at Gard, William is now considering going into the maritime industry.
“Yes, I would like to have a profession like my dad, because my grandfather also worked with the same, so then their knowledge can pass on to me. Plus, there are good salaries and exciting tasks and challenges that we, the younger generation, must solve. My father and the people I met, did not have the solution to all the big challenges with floating offshore wind. So, I would like to continue working on this,” he says.
Gard wishes to thank Arvid Nesse and the Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster for allowing William to attend the Floating Wind conference. Together, we have inspired the younger Vikings to take on the challenges for a more sustainable maritime development!
We would also like to thank William for sharing his pictures and experience with us and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Why floating wind rather than fixed windmills