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Clean Power windfloat floating wind turbine keeps a better balance

Published on February 23rd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


1st-of-Its-Kind Floating Wind Turbine Technology to be Deployed by Vestas & WindPlus [VIDEO]

February 23rd, 2011 by  

Floating wind turbines really seem to grab our attention. I imagine this is for three reasons: 1) they break through the clear limits other technologies cannot, 2) they greatly expand wind energy potential, and 3) we like things that float (OK, maybe it’s mostly the first two reasons..).

Now, only a couple of floating wind turbines have ever been deployed. A Blue H floating wind turbine was deployed 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the coast of Italy in 2007 (December). After a test year aimed mostly at gathering data, the turbine was decommissioned. In 2009 (September), Statoil (yes, primarily an oil and gas company) launched Hywind in the North Sea near Norway. The company called it “the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine.” It is still in operation today.

WindFloat floating wind turbine being pulled into place.

Vestas and WindPlus Planning Deployment of Innovative Offshore Wind Turbine Platform

Vestas and WindPlus are now planning to deploy another floating wind turbine using a first-of-its-kind floating platform technology.

Wind energy giant Vestas recently announced that it signed a contract with WindPlus — a joint venture company whose partners include the EDP Group, Principle Power, and several others — to have WindPlus deliver, install and commission a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for an offshore wind power project off the coast of Portugal.

The Vestas wind turbine will be delivered sometime in 2011 and Vestas will be “the technology reference for the project” and will support “the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.”

WindFloat, designed and patented by Principle Power, is unique in that it decreases wave- and turbine-induced motion (see the video above), which allows the placement of offshore wind turbines in depths of over 164 feet (50 meters) — wind resources are much greater in such areas than above the shallower waters where offshore wind turbines can currently be placed.

windfloat floating wind turbine keeps a better balance

WindFloat floating wind turbine platforms use innovative design to reduce wave- and turbine-induced motion and maximize efficiency.

The wind turbine platform off the coast of Portugal will be in commission and tested for at least one year.

If this offshore floating wind turbine technology works well, as anticipated, it could become “the first commercial semi-submersible floating platform for wind offshore electricity generation.”

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Murad Bino

    I am investigating suitable windmills of low cost, to use in direct or indirect (electrical power source) for reverse osmosis based seawater desalination. Applications will be targeted to help communities in remote islands access to potable water.
    I would like to know if your company have any experience in using your windmill household use of water desalination.

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  • Erik Madsen

    So I’m not sure after seeing the video. Are they anchoring the platforms to the seabed in any way?


    • it seems that they are tied down in a way. they aren’t drifting aimlessly, that’s for sure. but the platform and turbine can apparently be moved with relative ease

  • fisher

    They should be great for fishing, too. Or would fishing activites be banned arouns these farms?

    • Bob Wallace

      Fishing is not banned around oil rigs, it’s hard to see why it would be banned around these floaters.

      I’m not sure that fishing would be as good around floaters as it is around stationary rigs. Stationary rigs place a lot more surface under water.

      What these would be good for is creating fish/shellfish nurseries. They would take portions of the ocean floor out of the reach of netters who cleansweep the ocean.

  • miro novak

    I am able to offer more effective version. But no one of giant companies answers to my offers. Do you have some idea what I have to do? Even I have an energy converter that is able to store own energy at the same time!!! Gigawathours of energy!!!
    Thanks in advance.

    miro novak

  • I love this idea! Miles offshore, submerged platform, huge low-rpm turbines–is the US investigating this at all?

    • not that I’m aware of.. but hopefully 😀

    • Bob Wallace

      The US has been a leader in onshore wind but lags far behind in offshore. I have heard nothing about US corporations working on floating wind towers, but if they are developed elsewhere they can be installed here as well. The only loss will be profits flowing to non-US corporations as most of the construction and installation will be done with US labor.

      We have excellent wind potential off our northern Pacific coast in water too deep for stationary towers. We also have existing HVDC transmission line ready to carry that power north to the Canadian boarder, south to the Mexican boarder and east to Utah. We can ship that power around the western US to wherever it is needed

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