Portugal recently inaugurated its first offshore wind turbine. Principle Power, Energias de Portugal, Repsol, A. Silva Matos (ASM), Vestas Wind Systems A/S, and InovCapital all worked together on the major project.
The turbine rests on the aptly-named WindFloat, a newly-designed floating foundation, located approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) off the coast of Agucadoura. What makes the turbine particularly notable, however, is the innovation in construction. Instead of on-site construction, the turbine was assembled on land and transported to its final location.
This process has created great cost efficiencies in removing heavy, expensive equipment from the construction.
The turbine, a V80-2.0MW, was provided by Vestas (PINK: VWDRY), the major Danish turbine company, and has the capability to power 1300 households.
The project was made possible by a subsidy from the Innovation Support Fund (Fundo de Apoio a Inovacao – FAI) and the participation of more than 60 European parts suppliers.
Alla Weinstein, President and CEO of Principle Power, commented:
“Through this first project we have demonstrated and proven the WindFloat technology. The entire system was fabricated using domestic resources, suppliers and infrastructure. Since its connection to the grid, the WindFloat has delivered an energy profile far better than that of local onshore wind installations. With Repsol entering the joint venture, Windplus is now in a position to advance the next phase of the project calling for a 25+ MW pre-commercial array of turbines. With possible support from the EC NER300 funding scheme this second phase of the project would prove the scalability of the WindFloat design and the intrinsic opportunities to reduce the cost of offshore wind deployments while creating an entirely new industrial base in Portugal.”
This past winter, the WindFloat proved its worth, enduring 50 foot waves in a severe winter.
So far, all functioning has remained within expected parameters, suggesting a bright future for Portugal’s emerging offshore power industry.