Published on February 21st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan6
Floating Wind Farm for Malta
The Swedish company Hexicon, which has developed an innovative type of floating wind farm or two, may soon supply Malta with 9% of its electricity needs via one of these floating wind farms.
While the EU already has about 20% of its energy coming from renewable energy, the small island nation of Malta has lagged a lot with only 1-2% of its electricity coming from renewable sources.
“As an EU member Malta is required to produce at least 10% of its energy from renewables by 2020,” Susan Kraemer writes on Green Prophet (one of the other sites she contributes to). The new floating wind farm is apparently a key to the nation’s plans to quickly achieving that target.
Hexicon has now submitted a project description statement (PDS) with Maltese authorities, and the location of the wind farm has been identified. The farm would include 36 turbines sitting on a hexagon-shaped, 460-meter-wide platform (see the images above) and would have a power capacity of 54 MW. The platform would be anchored to the sea floor with cables but would be able to turn a full 360 degrees in 30 minutes.
“Hexicon’s technology for large-scale, floating platforms for wind and wave power was analysed and reviewed by the Swedish Energy Agency, the Malta Resources Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Cyprus,” Malta Today writes.
The hexagon shaped platform will be constructed on the basis of offshore oil rig platform technology.
The patented “fagerdala hull system” provides the Hexicon platform with a composite outer protective layer. The hull system thus reduces the need for maintenance and extends the lifespan of both the platform itself and all equipment installed. This would result in less expensive energy the company claims.
The company claims that its platform has an expected lifespan of 50 years while the turbines have a life expectancy of 25 years.
“If its application succeeds, along with the funding for it through the EU cap & trade scheme (via Ner300), the plant could start operations in June 2014,” Susan notes. Adding this on to Malta’s existing 1-2% from renewable energy, the country would meet its 2020 target several years early despite a late start.
It’s also projected that this project would create electricity at a more competitive rate than currently dominant oil-based power generation on Malta.
Sources: Green Prophet & Malta Today