Portuguese floating wind farm begins power supply to grid

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A 25MW floating wind farm project in Portugal has begun supplying power to the grid, demonstrating the viability for such floating power facilities anywhere in the world, at a much larger scale.

Named as the WindFloat Atlantic wind farm, the facility features three wind turbines on a floating structure.

The floating wind farm has now become operational after one of its platforms was connected to the grid through a 20km cable.

Built in cooperation between Portugal and Spain, the platforms are anchored with chains to the seabed at a depth of 100 metres. Two of the platforms were manufactured at the Setúbal shipyards in Portugal, and the third at Avilés and Ferrol shipyards in Spain.

The WindFloat Atlantic platforms have been designed for transportation by standard towing craft, in constrast to bottom-fixed projects which require expensive vessels to be mobilized for transport.

Repsol, one of the consortium building the floating wind farm, stated: “The commissioning of this wind farm facilitates access to untapped marine areas and represents a significant technological leap towards shaping a carbon-free economy in Portugal.”

Once fully operational, the offshore wind farm will be able to generate enough energy to supply the equivalent of 60,000 users each year.

The floating wind farm is being developed by a consortium consisting of EDP Renewables with 54.4% stake, Engie with 25%, Repsol owing 19.4% and Principle Power holding the remaining stake.

The development of the WindFloat Atlantic wind project follows the successful demonstration by the WindFloat1 prototype, which was in operations between 2011 and 2016.

The 2MW prototype generated energy uninterruptedly over five years, surviving extreme weather conditions, including waves up to 17 metres tall and 60-knot winds, completely unscathed.

The WindFloat Atlantic project uses WindFloat disruptive technology that allows installation of wind platforms in deep waters.

MHI Vestas is the wind turbine supplier for the project, while JDR Cables is the cable provider.