The demonstrator will be ready in 2013, says Winflo’s communications director Xavier Ferrey. The Winflo turbine will be mounted on an "innovative free-floating platform" anchored to the seabed, to be deployed at depths of 50-150 metres.
It will carry a lightweight turbine of 2.5MW or 3MW and adapted for marine conditions. Monitoring and some maintenance functions will be carried out electronically using "e-maintenance" technology developed in the naval sector.
Winflo is one of two projects to design floating turbines recently awarded grants by the French government to help build full-scale demonstration models.
WinFlo received €13.4 million, while Vertiwind, a vertical axis turbine developed by Lille-based designer Nénuphar, got €7 million.
The other members of the Winflo consortium are DCNS, one of Europe's leading ship-builders; Italy's Saipem, which designs oil and gas platforms; In Vivo Environnement, a specialist in marine environmental impact studies; and IFREMER and ENSIETA, two marine research centres based in Brest.