Malta plans floating offshore turbines

MALTA: The Mediterranean island of Malta has revealed an platform-based solution to deploying offshore wind turbines in the deep waters which make conventional monopile structures difficult to install.

Hexicon plans a project off the Maltese coast
Hexicon plans a project off the Maltese coast

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The scheme, devised by Copenhagen-based Hexicon AB, is a hexagon shaped lattice platform which can rotate around a central axis to align with wind direction.

Secured to the seabed, the platform would support six 6.5MW turbines, along with a docking platform and a helipad to assist servicing and maintenance. The platform also supports a substation.

A public consultation process has now started prior to the construction of the first platform. The Maltese government says it plans an eventual 36-turbine scheme to be located 20km off the island’s north east coast in water depths of 100-150 metres.

If the project gets planning approval and EU funding is forthcoming it could be generating electricity by 2014.

Malta currently generates just 2% of its electricity from renewable sources but has a target of 10% from wind, solar and biomass by 2020.

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