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Clean Power

Published on February 21st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Floating Wind Farm for Malta

February 21st, 2012 by  


malta floating offshore wind farm

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.

malta floating wind farm

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

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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.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Turbines are too close together. Their performance will be hampered by turbulence.

  • vivek sinha

    Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post…
    life sciences

  • Juan Zammit

    The problem about this wonderful initiative is the location where the authorities wanna built them. The location is off Mellieha bay. Which is one of the most important anchorage areas for ships coming to receive bunkers/stores/supplies in Malta.
    Hope to have these wind farms soon and hopefully more wind farms to be built in the future.

  • Vinswalladesign

    this design is comical as wind turbines need a minimum frontal area to achieve the maximum captured energy depending on prop span.
    most of the other turbines will be catching irractic turbulence.
    it may also be fighting with the natural movement in a storm.
    plus vertical turbines are better for open sea as it places most of the weight below water level.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Vertical turbines don’t work well because they have to be mounted too close to the water’s surface. The good, clean air is up much higher.

      There’s one poorly done piece of research about clustering vertical turbines that people misuse to think that clusters of verticals are a good idea.

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