World’s First Semi-Submersible Floating Wind Farm Close to Completion
The WindFloat Atlantic project is taking one of the final steps towards becoming fully operational. The last of the three pre-assembled wind turbine platforms making up the project has left the Port of Ferrol on 28 May 2020, heading for its final destination 20 km off the coast of Portugal at Viana do Castelo, in a journey that will take three days.
This operation will be completed by hooking up this last unit to the pre-laid mooring system and connecting it to the rest of the offshore wind farm. This third platform will be installed next to the other two units, which are already up and running and supplying energy to the Portuguese electricity grid.
Transporting each of the three WindFloat Atlantic floating structures is a milestone in itself, as it sidesteps the need for towing craft designed specifically for this process and makes it possible for the project to be replicated elsewhere.
The floating structure –measuring 30 m high and with a 50 m distance between each of its columns – can support the world’s largest commercially available wind turbines, of 8.4 MW production capacity each, on a floating structure. Once all three platforms making up the wind farm are installed, with their 25 MW of production capacity they will be able to generate enough energy to supply the equivalent of 60,000 users each year. WindFloat Atlantic could save almost 1.1 million tons of CO2.
About WindFloat Atlantic project
The project is led by the Windplus, comprising EDP Renewables (54.4%), Engie (25%), Repsol (19.4%) and Principle Power Inc. (1.2%). The facility has three wind turbines mounted on floating platforms which are anchored with chains to the seabed at a depth of 100 m. The project uses WindFloat® technology that minimises the environmental impact and facilitates access to untapped wind resources in deep waters.
The platforms have been built jointly by the two Iberian countries: two of them were manufactured at the shipyards in Setúbal (Portugal), while the third was constructed in Avilés and Fene (Spain).
This initiative has had the support from public and private institutions, encouraging companies that are leaders in their respective markets to take part in the project; while the Government of Portugal, European Commission and the European Investment Bank have provided financial support.
The companies that have made this project possible include, in addition to Principle Power, the joint venture between Navantia/Windar, the A- Silva Matos Group, Bourbon, the wind turbine supplier MHI Vestas and dynamic cable supplier JDR Cables.
WindFloat Atlantic project marks an important milestone for the industry as this is the first semi-submersible floating wind farm in the world.
About WindFloat® technology
Because it can be placed in very deep waters, WindFloat® can unlock energy resources in vast areas of the sea, addressing major societal challenges, such as the clean energy transition, energy security and climate change, whilst bringing jobs, economic growth and opportunities for sustainable investment.
The advantages of this technology include aptness for dry-dock assembly and towing without the need for specialized towing craft, as well as not having to rely on complex offshore operations associated with the installation of traditional bottom-fixed structures. These factors contribute towards driving down lifecycle costs and reducing risks.
Additionally, the WindFloat® foundation can accommodate the world’s largest commercially-available turbines, contributing to increased energy production and significant reductions in lifecycle costs.
About EDP Renewables (EDPR)
EDP Renováveis (Euronext: EDPR) is a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer. With a sound development pipeline, first class assets and market-leading operating capacity, EDPR has undergone exceptional development in recent years and is currently present in 14 international markets (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, the UK and the US).
EDPR is committed to furthering social advances in terms of sustainability and integration. This is reflected by the inclusion of the company in the Bloomberg Gender Equality index and the fact that it has been certified as a Top Employer 2020 in Europe (Spain, Italy, France, Romania, Portugal and the United Kingdom), both of which recognise its employee-driven policies.
Energias de Portugal, S.A. (“EDP”), the principal shareholder of EDPR, is a global energy company and a leader in value creation, innovation and sustainability. EDP has featured on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 13 consecutive years.
Our Group is a global reference for low-carbon energy and services. In response to the urgency of climate change, our ambition is to become the world leader in the zero carbon transition “as a service” for our customers, in particular global companies and local authorities. We rely on our key activities (renewable energy, gas, services) to offer competitive turnkey solutions.
With our 170,000 employees, our customers, partners and stakeholders, we are a community of Imaginative Builders, committed every day to more harmonious progress.
Turnover in 2019: 60.1 billion euros. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main financial indices (CAC 40, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe) and non-financial indices (DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo Eiris – World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120, France 20, CAC 40 Governance).
Repsol is a global multi-energy supplier that is working to facilitate the transition to an energy model with lower emissions. It employs more than 25,000 persons, has assets in 35 countries, and sells its products to 10 million customers in over 90 countries. It is an important player in the electricity and gas market in Spain, with over one million customers. Additionally, it operates low-emissions electricity generation assets and is developing a variety of photovoltaic and wind renewable energy projects. The company is a pioneer in the development of initiatives for sustainable mobility using more efficient fuels and new solutions, such as electric charging and autogas. It produces over 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and has one of Europe’s most efficient refining systems. Technology and digitization are mainstays of the company, which has set a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, being the first company in the sector to adopt this ambitious target.
About Principle Power
Principle Power is a global energy technology and services company. The Company’s proven and in-demand WindFloat® floating technology is unlocking offshore wind potential worldwide by enabling projects to harvest the best wind resource, irrespective of water depth or seabed condition. Principle Power acts as a trusted partner to developers, independent power producers, utilities and EPCs, supporting its customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their projects. With over 100 MW under construction and advanced development in Portugal, Scotland, and France, and a multi-GW commercial pipeline globally, Principle Power is the market leader in floating offshore wind technology.