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Clean Power floating wind turbines

Published on December 6th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

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2-MW WindFloat Towed To Atlantic Site off Portuguese Coast

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December 6th, 2011 by  

floating wind turbines

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A Portuguese utility, Energias de Portugal, and Seattle-based offshore wind energy developer and Principle Power, Inc.  have deployed a full-scale 2-megawatt WindFloat off the coast of Agucadoura, Portugal.

The project is the first offshore wind deployment worldwide which didn’t require the use of any heavy lift equipment offshore. Instead, assembly of the wind turbine occurred on land in a controlled environment before being towed to its offshore site. Officials say this is the first offshore wind turbine in open Atlantic waters, and the first deployment of a semi-submersible structure that supports a multi-megawatt wind turbine.

According to the companies, this offshore installation represents “the beginning of a new sector in the offshore wind industry.” The YouTube animation above provides a good view of the semi-submersible system.

Following onshore work on the system at the Lisnave facility near Setubal, Portugal, the WindFloat was towed offshore some 350 kilometers. Principle Power’s enabling product, a floating wind turbine support structure called WindFloat, allows for locating of offshore “wind turbines in water depths greater than 50m.” Offshore wind installations in these water depths have historically not been feasible due to economic and technological limitations.

floating wind turbines

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Over the next few weeks the turbine will undergo commissioning, testing and startup procedures.

In a press announcement, Alla Weinstein, CEO of Principle Power, said: “We look forward to future business and success in this and global offshore wind markets with our innovative WindFloat.”

“The (deep) ocean is the next big energy frontier,” added Antonio Vidigal, CEO of EDP Inovacao.

“Deep offshore wind technology, in particular the WindFloat, will allow us to harness stronger and more stable winds, and in the medium term deliver sustainable energy into our electrical system.”

EDP SA is an energy utility, focused on generation, distribution and commercialization of electricity and gas. Currently present in 13 geographies with over 12,000 employees, EDP is developing Europe’s largest hydro generation project and is currently the third largest wind developer in the world.

Animation and Photo: Principle Power

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers is editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.



  • Anonymous

    That’s great news. Let’s hope they work any bugs out of the system in a timely fashion.

    We’ve got tremendous wind potential off the Pacific Northwest Coast but the water is too deep for towers set on foundations. Floaters is what we need.

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