World's Largest Floating Wind Turbine Ready for Deployment
The largest floating wind turbine in the world is about to be installed. The 8.4 MW offshore wind turbine is the first of three semisubmersible units designed by California-based Principle Power. It is continental Europe’s first larger-scale floating wind farm, and it is located about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Viana do Castello, Portugal. The design is ABS-classed.
“ABS has supported innovation in offshore energy since 1958. This landmark installation underlines how we continue to support promising technology more than 60 years later,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO. “Floating turbines enable us to reach offshore wind resources in water that is too deep for conventional bottom-fixed turbines. It is breakthroughs such as this that will make a vital contribution to the global transition to clean energy.”
The project is developed by the Windplus consortium, which is jointly owned by EDP Renováveis, ENGIE, Repsol, and Principle Power, and it is scheduled to go online at the end of 2019. The development is based on the same principles as the original Principle Power designed concept, WindFloat 1, which was installed off Portugal in 2011.
“WindFloat Atlantic represents a major milestone for the floating offshore wind industry as it is the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind farm. We are proud of having led the process of industry standard-setting from the early days,” said Steven Barras, CTO at Principle Power.
Thanks to their floating foundations, floating offshore wind farms are not subject to the same depth restrictions as fixed structures and can be at any depth. With the development of larger turbines above 10 MWs and research focused on shallow water moorings, the floating technology may even be an alternative to traditional bottom-founded technologies in intermediate water depths in the future, according to ABS.