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Gallery: UMaine's VolturnUS platform

UNITED STATES: The University of Maine (UMaine) has been operating the prototype VolturnUS floating platform off the coast of Maine since June 2013.

  • The University of Maine has had a floating lidar in place at the site since June 2013

    The University of Maine has had a floating lidar in place at the site since June 2013

  • The University is testing the a 1:8 scale model of the VolturnUS platform

    The University is testing the a 1:8 scale model of the VolturnUS platform

  • The prototype was installed in June 2013, off the Castine peninsula in Maine

    The prototype was installed in June 2013, off the Castine peninsula in Maine

  • The design uses a semi-submersible floating hull with an integrated tower

    The design uses a semi-submersible floating hull with an integrated tower

  • It is located in 27 metre-deep waters

    It is located in 27 metre-deep waters

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The 1:8 scale model of the 6MW platform was the first offshore turbine to be connected to the US grid.

Vice-president for innovation and economic development at UMaine, Jake Ward, last month told Windpower Monthly that the platform was coming to the end of its pre-agreed 17-month permit and is due to be taken out of the water this month.

In the course of its deployment, the platform has experienced storm conditions allowing UMaine to gather data on how it copes in rough seas. You can see a video of the platform in stormy seas by clicking on the picture below.

Click here to watch the video

The university has received various grants to continue developing the platform. In September, the US Department of Energy awarded $3.8 million to complete the full-scale design of the VolturnUS platform.

VolturnUS is due to be used at the proposed 12MW Aqua Ventas offshore project. The University missed out on a $47 million DoE grant in May to develop this project. But it was listed as a project which could recieve the funding should one of the chosen projects fail to meet expectations.

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