The first WindFloat Atlantic foundation and turbine has departed for its destination off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal, where it will be installed
The unit is one of three that will be installed in water depths of circa 100 m to form the first floating windfarm in continental Europe. Once complete, the windfarm will have a capacity of 25 MW.
Two of the WindFloat foundations for the project were constructed at Setúbal shipyard in Portugal and the third at Navantia’s facility in Ferrol in Spain.
The foundations developed by Principle Power are semi-submersible units that can be towed into place with the turbine installed, obviating the need for heavy lift vessels offshore and reducing installation costs significantly.
The project is led by the Windplus consortium, comprising EDP Renewables (54.4%), Engie (25%), Repsol (19.4%) and Principle Power (1.2%). Also involved in the project are Navantia and Windar, A Silva Matos Group, offshore vessel owner Bourbon, wind turbine supplier MHI Vestas and cable supplier JDR Cables.
The WindFloat Atlantic project builds on the success of the WindFloat1 prototype, which was in operation between 2011 and 2016. The 2-MW prototype successfully generated energy uninterruptedly for more than five years, surviving extreme weather conditions including waves up to 17 m high and 60-knot winds.
WindFloat Atlantic uses V164-8.4 turbines from MHI Vestas. The first turbine was installed on the foundation earlier this year.
MHI Vestas chief operations officer Flemming Ougaard said, “We’re breaking new ground with the WindFloat Atlantic installation, so we’re intent on gathering the necessary data and insights to carry forward into future floating offshore wind projects.”
The project will provide important experience in installation and commissioning techniques, turbine performance and foundation performance for floating windfarms.