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European Companies Float an Idea for Wind Power

A new type of off-shore wind power technology is about to be tested in Europe which could expand the exploration of off-shore wind power worldwide.

Danish wind power market leader Vestas has entered an agreement with WindPlus for the deployment of the first offshore project worldwide integrating a wind turbine with a full-scale semi-submersible floating structure. This is the first time this floating platform technology is being used.

Called WindFloat Project, a patented semi-submersible float structure by Principle Power, which is part of the joint venture behind WindPlus led by EDP Group, it dampens wave and turbine motion, enabling offshore wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 50 meters and wind resources are superior.

WindPlus will deliver, install and commission a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for the project, which will be implemented off the Portuguese country. Turbine delivery will take place in 2011. Vestas will provide the technology and will support the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.

The floating structure and the turbine will be tested during at least 12 months for assessment of performance, validation of the WindFloat and turbine control optimization. During this period there will be studies on maintenance, operation and commissioning and decommissioning.

“Provided that the project outcome is successful, we believe that it can reinforce the already existing offshore wind industry and thereby help countries around the world increase their wind energy penetration levels and raise their energy independence. We are committed to offshore wind and helping drive new innovative solutions, such as this one cements our leading position in the offshore wind industry”, said Anders Søe-Jensen, president of Vestas Offshore.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.