First Floating Wind Turbine Installation
June 19, 2012
There was a flurry of discussion of offshore wind power potential in yesterday’s comments. Here’s good news.
This is the technology that will open up huge areas offshore, along the coasts, and in the Great Lakes.
We’ve been following the Principle Power and Vestas offshore floating wind turbine and floating WindFloat foundation for awhile. The exciting news is that today it was finally announced the the floating turbine was inaugurated on Friday, June 16.
“In addition to being the first offshore wind turbine in Portugal, this is the first offshore wind turbine to be installed without the use of any heavy lift vessels or piling equipment at sea,” Principle Power announced today. “All final assembly, installation and pre-commissioning of the turbine and substructure took place on land in a controlled environment. The complete system was then wet-towed offshore using simple tug vessels.”
The WindFloat is equipped with a Vestas v80 2.0MW turbine capable of producing enough electricity for 1,300 households. The system is located 5km off the coast of Aguçadoura, Portugal, and has already produced in excess of 1.7 GWh. The WindFloat ushers in a new era in the offshore wind industry permitting utilities to target the highest quality wind resources, independent of water depth. In addition, projects can realize significant cost and risk reductions as a result of the onshore fabrication and commissioning scheme.
The successful installation and on-going operations of the WindFloat in Portugal is the result of hard work and foresight on part of the WindPlus joint venture, comprised of EDP, Repsol, Principle Power, ASM, Vestas Wind Systems A/S and InovCapital including a subsidy from the Innovation Support Fund (Fundo de Apoio à Inovação – FAI). Additionally, over 60 other European suppliers, 40 of them Portuguese, supplied key components to the project. Repsol has recently joined the Windplus JV as a significant shareholder bringing additional offshore experience and operational capabilities to the project team.