Second floating wind turbine trial announced in France

FRANCE: Winflo, a French consortium led by wind power specialist Nass & Wind, has confirmed it will be installing a full-scale demonstration model of its floating turbine off the coast of southern Brittany, near Lorient port.

An artists rendering of the Windflo floating turbine concept
An artists rendering of the Windflo floating turbine concept

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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.

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