The first offshore floating wind turbine is now under construction off the coast of Aguçadoura in the north of Portugal. The project involves the construction of a 2MW wind turbine prototype over the next 6 months – one of the first of its kind in southern Europe. Installation and contruction costs are estimated to amount to 4.1 million Euros per MW installed.
The technology is patented by American company Power Principle using the name “WindFloat”. It consists of a triangular floating base. The base is allowed to float through the use of three pillars, one of which houses the tower structure for the wind turbine. The structure is anchored to the seabed through the use of cables and can be installed anywhere between depths of 50 meters to several hundred meters.
The design and size of the WindFloat enables the overall structure to be assembled onshore and towed to its final location. All fabrication and qualification is completed at quayside in a controlled environment. According to Principle Power, cost savings are significant when compared with direct/fixed offshore wind turbine support structures.
Cleandxr has a compilation of some Scandinavian floating wind power designs - Seven Innovative Floating Windmill Platform Concepts.