|Principle Power’s WindFloat offshore wind power floating support structure.|
Principle Power, Energias de Portugal (EDP), and InovCapital – Sociedade de Capital de Risco, SA have signed a project agreement and turnkey contract for the deployment of a full-scale 2-megawatt WindFloat off the coast of Portugal. Project partners include Principle Power, EDP, InovCapital, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, A. Silva Matos (ASM), and Fundo de Apoio à Inovação (FAI).
WindFloat is a patented floating support structure for offshore wind turbines with a simple and economic design. Innovative features of the WindFloat dampen wave and turbine induced motion, enabling offshore wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 50m and wind resources are superior.
The project calls for Principle Power to deploy a full-scale WindFloat, with a Vestas V80-2.0MW offshore wind turbine, off the Portuguese coast in 2011. The system will be tested in Aguçadoura – an EDP grid connected site – for no less than 12 months, with a focus on performance validation of the WindFloat and turbine integration. In addition, commissioning/decommissioning and O&M studies will be conducted.
The project will make use of existing Portuguese industrial capacity and skilled labor for a majority of the fabrication and installation activities. Principle Power will carry full responsibility for project execution. Vestas will be delivering, installing, and commissioning a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for the project. Turbine delivery will take place in 2011. Moreover, Vestas will be the technology reference for the project, supporting the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.
Major subcontractors for the project have been chosen and include ASM and MPG, Marine Innovation & Technology, Houston Offshore Engineering, Bourbon Offshore, Smith Berger Marine, Vryhof, and Solidal. The American Bureau of Shipping has been selected as an independent certification agency.
Project funding has been secured through contributions from project partners and a non-refundable grant from Fundo de Apoio à Inovação (FAI).
“EDP has selected offshore wind energy as one of its five innovation priorities and the WindFloat is one of the most promising technologies in this area. Pending results of this key demonstration stage, EDP will be better positioned to tackle offshore wind challenges worldwide,” asserted António Mexia, CEO of EDP.
João Fernandes, InovCapital’s Board Member, “believes that the WindFloat Project has the potential to change the way Portugal takes advantage of its sea coast, given its innovative technology in wind energy and the engagement of all local and international partners.”
“We at Principle Power welcome EDP as an early adopter of this enabling technology. We see the Portuguese Government and industry as partners in the development of offshore wind technologies capable of meeting Portuguese and worldwide demand for renewable energy,” said Alla Weinstein, President & CEO of Principle Power. “All of the industrial skills and facilities needed to execute the project are available in Portugal including a utility, with a vision of promoting economic growth within its own borders. This project is a significant step forward for Portugal in using its vast offshore wind potential to meet renewable energy goals.”
Anders Søe-Jensen, President Vestas Offshore explained: “At Vestas, we are continuously looking into different solutions and materials that will bring even more value to our customers in future offshore wind power plants. In that respect, floating foundations are one of the solutions with potential for harvesting wind in deeper water offshore sites.”
Juan Araluce, President, Vestas Mediterranean, concluded: “We are very pleased to announce this cooperation with Principle Power and the EDP Group, one of our global key accounts. This is a groundbreaking project in the Mediterranean region. Its outcome could facilitate the implementation of best practices in the region and other places around the world.”
Read Offshore Wind Energy Cost Modeling from Amazon.