France builds first floating platform & turbine

Construction of Winflo prototype to begin within weeks

Construction of a 1MW demonstrator of the Winflo floating offshore wind platform and turbine will start in the coming weeks for installation at the SEM-REV test site, off Le Croisic, next summer.

The Winflo concept was developed by France's Nass&Wind Industrie. Vergnet is supplying the turbine, which will be an adapted version of its two-bladed 1MW onshore GEV-HP machine. DCNS will manufacture the semi-submersible platform.

French marine research centre, Ifremer, and engineering school, ENTSA Bretagne, are also involved in the project.

Components will be assembled at Brest next spring before being towed to the test site for 12-18 months of offshore testing. The budget for the demonstration phase stands at around €40m.

Once the initial test is complete, and any necessary modifications have been made, the intention is to scale up to allow the platform to carry a larger turbine. A 5MW rated turbine is currently the goal. A second, larger offshore test would take place in waters near the island of Le Groix.

If the tests go well, series manufacture could begin from 2016, most likely at Brest, according to Nass & Wind.

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