The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Come Closer to Reality

Not just ships but wind turbines too could soon be floating off the Portuguese coast as the wind industry charters deeper, windier seas.

WindFloat, a project on the drawing board for some time, has taken a key step toward becoming reality following a recent agreement with Vestas to supply a 2-MW turbine to the pioneer project.

Vestas, a Danish manufacturer that claims to have installed around half of the world’s traditional offshore wind farms, has signed an agreement with WindPlus, a joint venture led by Energias de Portugal (EDP), to supply a wind turbine to the project.

The partners will use the system to test the waters for floating turbines as part of a 12-month demonstration to begin in the second half of this year. They aim to study not only turbine performance and control but also overall operation and maintenance of the new floating base.

Principle Power designed the WindFloat platform, based on studies of concepts in the oil and gas industry.

The key structural components of the WindFloat are a wind turbine tower, columns, truss and water entrapment heave plates. The design features a semi-submersible structure, fitted with water entrapment heave plates at the base of each column. The plates reduce the structure’s size and minimize pitch and yaw motions of the system. In addition, the WindFloat has an active ballast system to further optimize energy production efficiency.

In sum, the triangular WindFloat structure is engineered to dampen wave and turbine-induced motion. Its shallow draft enables offshore wind turbines to operate in areas of the sea deeper than 50 meters. And it can also be assembled onshore, thus eliminating the need for specialized installation vessels.

The ability to operate in deeper waters and low-cost assembly are two key reasons why advocates of floating wind turbines project a promising future for the new offshore energy technology.

Anders Søe-Jensen, president of Vestas Offshore, said “floating foundations are one of the solutions, along with monopile and jacket foundations, with potential for harvesting wind in deeper water offshore sites.”

WindFloat, however, is hardly the only turbine floating in deep waters these days. Among the other projects testing the waters or planning soon to do so are Deepwater Wind off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and HyWind in the North Sea as well as startups Blue H, WindSea and SWAY. 

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Investment theme

Yieldcos' Weird Trick: Raising Dividends Without Retained Earnings

Tom Konrad, Contributor High yield companies generally grow slowly, while high growth companies have low dividend yields. Normal companies grow by investing some profits in new business opportunities.  Early stage growth companies typically r...
Coal plant

US Clean Power Plan Will Double Coal Plant Closures

Jim Snyder and Tim Loh, Bloomberg

A new government analysis of President Barack Obama’s signature effort to fight climate change affirms what critics suspected: the proposal could further weaken an already battered coal industry.

Solar energy and wind energy

Wind and Solar Account for 100 Percent of New US Generating Capacity in April

Kenneth Bossong, Sun Day Campaign In what is becoming a frequent occurrence, if not predictable pattern, renewable energy sources once again dominate in the latest federal monthly update on new electrical generating capacity brought into service in the Unit...
Renewable energy jobs

Global Renewable Energy Employment Surges 18 Percent to 7.7 Million

Andrew Burger, Correspondent Ongoing growth in renewable energy investment and deployment is creating jobs worldwide — and lots of them. This job growth is helping governments address a fundamental economic problem plaguing developed and developing cou...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition

African mining leaders are seriously exploring new energy solutions to s...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is reapidly building out its national certified installe...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS