Vertiwind 2MW vertical-axis turbine delayed

'Slight delay' to trials due to start in March

Testing of the 2MW prototype Vertiwind, being developed by Lille-based designer Nénuphar, Technip and EDF Energies Nouvelles, has been delayed until September.

Trials of the first level of blades were due to start in March, but there has been "a slight delay", said Nénuphar CEO Charles Smadja.

Offshore testing of the prototype has also been pushed back due to the protracted permitting process for an offshore test site in the Mediterranean. Smadja is hoping to receive authorisation by mid-2014 and install the turbine by mid-2015. At the outset, in 2010, sea tests were scheduled to take place in 2012.

A recent government report on marine renewable energy highlighted the need to simplify the regulatory framework for offshore test sites and pilot projects in order to boost the sector.

The regulations are largely based on those for onshore installations, leading to overlapping and unnecessarily complex procedures, which are easily challenged in court, the report said.

The government is targeting floating turbines as a priority sector in which France could play a leading role. There are already four projects under development in France: Winflo, the most advanced; Vertiwind; Ideol; and newcomer Spinfloat.