Ideol, an offshore wind foundation design specialist, is tipped to install a real-size demonstration platform at the Plocan test site off the Canary Isles in 2015. Ideol expects to announce soon which company will construct the platform, CEO Paul de la Guérivière told Windpower Offshore.
The platform, designed for 2-10MW class turbines, consists of a concrete floater with an open central area that dampens dynamic movements. The company claims it is competitive with jacket foundations for depths of more than 35 metres.
Ideol and Quadran plan to co-develop 500MW of floating capacity to be installed in French waters. Quadran will be responsible for the development of the projects, certain technical studies, the financial structure to allow construction and the operation, said Quadran director general Jérôme Billerey.
Ideol and Quadran are now calling on the government to put in place a support mechanism to encourage a rapid deployment of this emerging technology. In September, France's president, François Hollande, said he "envisaged" a tender for floating turbines in 2015.
Previously, a government-commissioned report recommended that tenders for pilot projects should be launched in 2014-15, before proceeding to full-scale commercial installations.
In the meantime, the regional authorities in Brittany have started identifying an area where 500MW of floating capacity could be deployed. One possibility is off the island of Groix, where a test site for floating turbines is already under development.