EDP plan floating wind farm for early-2011

PORTUGAL: Portugal's EDP will test the first prototype of a floating offshore development plant early next year in Aguçadoura, in the north of the country.

The WindFloat can be assembled near the shore and towed out to sea
The WindFloat can be assembled near the shore and towed out to sea
The head of Technological Development at EDP Inovação, João Maciel, said tests could last between 12-to-24 months. The project will be based in a water depth of 40 metres.

The project has a budget of around €18.4 million.

The next phase, pre-trade, foresees the installation of 3-5 towers with 25 5MW Vestas turbines, at an estimated cost of €4.3 million/MW. The commercial phase comes at a cost of around €3 million/MW.

According to Maciel, the site in northern Portugal was selected, "because it is closer to the real conditions of the deep sea, despite the LNEG having suggested a region of the Algarve - where the sea is calmer - for the first phase of testing."

EDP's WindFloat project has been tested in a wave tank since May 2009 and is based on the technology from Principle Power.

The semi-submersible technology had three pillars. One of these held a wind tower, with a 2MW turbine. This technology has the advantage of being fully assembled onshore and subsequently towed to the place where it will produce energy.

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