World’s second floating wind farm sets sail for Portugal

(EurActiv, 19 Oct 2019) The first turbine from the WindFloat Atlantic project was successfully towed from Ferrol, Spain, towards its destination 20 km off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal on Saturday (19 October), in what constitutes a world second for floating wind.

That first turbine will be joined in the coming months by two more floating units, which by the end of the year will produce 25 MW of electricity, enough to cover the energy needs of 60,000 homes, said the promoters of the project, an international consortium.

This is the second floating wind farm in Europe and the world after the Hywind project was inaugurated off the coast of Scotland in October 2017.

The project uses WindFloat technology, which enables platforms to be installed in deep waters, inaccessible to date, where abundant wind resources can be harnessed.

The project is led by the Windplus consortium, comprising Portugal’s EDP Renewables (54.4%), France’s ENGIE (25%), Spain’s Repsol (19.4%) and US-based Principle Power Inc. (1.2%). The government of Portugal, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank all provided financial support, with the EIB acting as the lead bank.

“This is the first floating wind farm which is bank financed,” said João Metelo, the CEO of Principle Power, adding Windplus was the first of its kind to be fully developed as a commercial project. “It really proves the ability to finance floating wind, which until now wasn’t the case,” Metelo told EURACTIV.

“It’s great to see a second project going ahead,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of trade association WindEurope. “Floating offshore wind now stands at the cusp of large-scale commercialisation. With the right policy measures, it could really take off over the next five to ten years,” he told EURACTIV in emailed comments.

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EurActiv, 19 Oct 2019: World’s second floating wind farm sets sail for Portugal