WindPlus Consortium to Build Floating Wind Farm in Offshore Portugal
Posted on: 25/01/2016

An international group of firms has been formed to fund and develop a commercial floating wind farm in the Atlantic waters off the coast of Portugal, near Porto. Since a prototype floating generator unit, developed by WindFloat has proven successful in the four years it has been operating, the new Porto development has been given the go ahead.

WindFloat is a floating foundation for offshore wind turbines with what is claimed to be a simple, economic and patented design. The innovative features of the WindFloat dampen wave and turbine induced motions enabling wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 40 metres - where wind resources are often superior.

The 2 MW WindFloat prototype to date has produced in excess of 16 GWh of electricity, delivered by sub-sea cable to the local grid. The structure is completely assembled and commissioned onshore before being towed along the Portuguese coast in its completed form, avoiding the requirement for expensive heavy lift installation equipment offshore.

EDF Renewables has teamed up with the Mitsubushi Corporation through its subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe and the Chinese Chiyoda Corporation through its subsidiary Chiyoda Generating Europe as the main partners in the project. French firm Enhgie and Spanish oil company Repsol are also involved with the project, which is receiving financial support for the EC and Portugese government.

The project, located 20km off the Portugese coast, is planned to be operational in 2018 and will consist of 3 or 4 wind turbines on floating foundations, with a total capacity of 25 MW. It will be known as the WindFloat Atlantic project.

This next generation of WindFloat systems will apply the information gained from the prototype as well as integrating other innovations developed by the Principle Power's design team throughout the WindFloat technology development process.

Principle Power is expecting a decrease in annual operational costs and significantly less risk in the operations of a WindFloat equipped wind farm. Following the success of this, the WindFloat designs will be optimised in both size and performance for larger 8+ MW offshore wind turbines in the future.

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