Next generation floating turbine planned for Italy

EUROPE: Floating turbine specialist Blue H is planning to trial a new version of its floating turbine platform in the Adriatic Sea using a machine with a capacity of 5-7MW.

Blue H is planning to use a 5-7MW turbine on its next floating platform trial
Blue H is planning to use a 5-7MW turbine on its next floating platform trial

The turbine could be installed at the site of the proposed 90MW Tricase wind farm in the southern Adriatic Sea in 2013.

Blue H was unable to name the turbine manufacturer. However, Siemens, Vestas, Bard and Repower manufacture turbines within this capacity range. Out of these only Repower and Bard are not involved in floating turbine trials.

Neal Bastick, CEO of Blue H, told a Windpower Monthly conference in Germany last week that the company’s foundation platform could — in association with an as-yet-unnamed major turbine manufacturer — go into production as soon as 2015.

A mini version of the Blue H concept has already been trialled in the area and a 2MW two-bladed model is now being prepared. The even larger model planned would be a three-bladed turbine.

"This technology achieves best results in 50 to 500 metres of water," he said. "And by constructing most of the foundation and turbine on land first before towing the structure out to sea, we can get costs to between €1-1.7 million per MW, comparable to €1-1.2 million per MW for fixed foundations."

Blue H sees this technology as particularly applicable to waters in the Mediterranean where there is much less shallow water than in, for example, the southern North Sea.

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