Thirteen 2MW floating turbines for France's south coast

FRANCE: A 26MW floating offshore wind project 20 kilometres off France's Mediterranean coast is being considered by an EDF-led consortium developing a 2MW vertical axis turbine.

Vertiwind 2MW vertical-axis turbine

The consortium, which includes turbine designer Nénuphar, Technip, are planning on building 13 2MW turbines by the end of 2016.

The three companies are currently constructing two delayed 2MW prototype Vertiwind vertical-axis turbines, which will be situated five kilometres off Fos sur Mer, on France's south coast.

Nénuphar is currently building the turbine, in Fos sur Mer under the supervision of French project management and engineering company Technip, which specialises in offshore construction work.

Trials of the first level of blades were supposed to start in March, but Nénuphar CEO Charles Smadja said in June there has been "a slight delay". Testing was then due to commence in September.

A spokesperson for EDF Energies Nouvelles, the company that will operate the floating turbines, said: "Construction of the onshore prototype, is still ongoing.

"It took a little longer than expected, which is quite natural considering this is a new procedure. The construction of the prototype is part of the testing phase."

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.