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Repsol buys into Portuguese floating demo project

EDP & Repsol hold majority stake in WindPlus joint venture

WindFloat platform carrying Vestas v80 2MW turbine being towed into position
WindFloat platform carrying Vestas v80 2MW turbine being towed into position

One of the world's first trials of offshore wind floating technology has attracted new investment, with Repsol buying into the joint venture (jv) that is testing the WindFloat concept off the Portuguese coast.

News of Repsol's decision to take a stake in the WindPlus jv was made public on 16 June, when Portugal's president, Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, visited the test site, located 5km off Aqucadoura.

By buying into WindPlus, Repsol joins five other backers: Energias de Portugal (EDP), ASM, Vestas, InovCapital, and the American company that has developed the WindFloat platform, Principle Power.

Together, Repsol and EDP now hold a majority stake in the jv, confirmed Principle Power's business development director, Joshua Weinstein, speaking with Windpower Offshore. EDP and Repsol are already partners in the UK, where they have won the right to develop 1.3-1.5GW of offshore wind capacity in the Moray Firth.

A Vestas v80 2MW turbine was installed on the WindFloat platform last year, with the entire structure assembled onshore and then towed to its current position in November 2011. Thus far, 1.7GWh of electricity has been generated by the demonstration project.

"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," commented Principle Power's chief executive, Alla Weinstein, adding that "with possible support from the EC NER300 funding scheme this second phase of the project would prove the scalability of the WindFloat design".

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