French investment funds support floating technology

Ideol wins €7m for prototype, installation in 2015

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Marseilles-based Ideol has secured €7m from two French investment funds to help finance a 2MW prototype of its innovative floating platform. The platform is being developed in association with Gamesa and the University of Stuttgart.

The prototype will be installed in early 2015 in southern European waters, Ideol's chief executive, Paul de la Guérivière, told Windpower Offshore. The exact location is still under negotiation.

The €7m comes from investment funds managed by Demeter Partners, which specialises in green investments, and from Sofimac Partners in association with Soridec.

Ideol's floating foundation consists of a square ring -shaped concrete floater anchored to the seabed. Water trapped inside the central pool acts as a motion absorber, dampening movement. Ideol will build its prototype by mid-2014, designing it to carry  commercially-available 5-6MW turbine. A second floater will be built about a year later.

The cost of Ideol’s design is competitive with jacket foundations in water depths over 35m, says the company.

In 2011, it raised €1m from private investors, also receiving support from OSEO, which supports innovative research in France. Ideol's floating platform is also one of two designs selected for funding under the European Floatgen project. Floatgen has a budget of €36m to support two floating demonstrations in water over 40m deep, with a focus on southern European.

The second technology supported by Floatgen is the OO Star Wind Floater from Norwegian engineering company Olav Olsen, in association with Acciona. Spain's Navantia will build the steel floating platform. Olav Olsen aims to install the demonstrator in Spanish waters in 2014.

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