Principle Power lease request complete

UNITED STATES: The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has stated that Principle Power's lease request for its 30MW Windfloat Pacific project, 16-24 kilometres from Coos Bay, Oregon, is complete.

Principle Power is developing a project off the west coast using the Windfloat design

Principle Power said it plans to install five semi-submersible 6MW Siemens turbines, in waters 366 metres deep, by the end of 2017.

Kevin Banister, Principle Power’s business and government affairs vice president, said: "We still have a lot of work to do with the Coos Bay community and the permitting and engineering aspects of the project.

"The project is the recipient of a financial assistance award from the US Department of Energy [DOE]. In February we will provide the DOE with deliverables that will demonstrate our progress in permitting, engineering, and power sales agreement.

"DOE will select three of the seven projects they are currently funding in their Advanced Technology Offshore Wind Demonstration Program to continue receiving funding from DOE."

This week BOEM issued a call to gauge possible interest in the development of wind energy off the Oregon coast.

It wants to see if there are any other organisations interested in developing wind projects in the same 38 square kilometre area to establish if it issues a non-competitive lease or whether there will be a competitive process.

At the end of September Principle Power held a meeting in North Bend, six kilometres from Coos Bay. They talked about progress with the project, how the Windfloat technology works, their permitting requirements and the activities they have undertaken.

A BOEM representative talked about the federal leasing process.

Banister said: "The most difficult questions always arise out of work we've done with the fishing community but we worked closely with them to try to identify a location that we can all agree on, and for the most part we've done that."

A prototype Windfloat system, equipped with a Vestas v80 2MW turbine, has been operational off the coast of Portugal since October 2011.

It was the fi­rst multi-megawatt offshore wind turbine in the world to be installed without the use of heavy lift vessels or offshore construction equipment.