2MW vertical axis offshore turbine to be trialled

FRANCE: One of the largest vertical axis turbines ever built is set to be constructed in the south of France, as part of a €40 million project to design a floating offshore wind turbine.

The 35kW prototype of the Vertiwind turbine

The 2MW turbine will shortly be installed near Marseilles. The aim is to take it offshore in 2013-14.

The Vertiwind project is being led by Lille-based designer Nenuphar, Technip and EDF EN, and has been underway since January last year when a 35kW prototype was launched.

Designer Nenuphar believes that vertical-axis turbines come out on top in terms of cost of energy and installation.

The low centre of gravity makes the machine more stable and minimises the gyroscopic effects.

Although the highest point of the turbine will be 105 metres above sea level, the substructure of the platform will only be 9-metres under the water. Taller horizontal turbines are as much as five times deeper. 

The consortium aims to market the turbine to countries around the Mediterranean, Japan and Maine, US.

This year, Acciona and EDP launched the companies trialling floating turbine platforms.