Winflo French tests in doubt

FRANCE: The Winflo floating wind platform and turbine is being reassessed and a planned test in western France has been scrapped, Windpower Offshore has learnt.

A 1MW demonstrator, using an adapted version of Vergnet's onshore machine on a semi-submersible platform, was due to be assembled this spring and installed at the Le Croisic test site in the summer.

However, the project is now being "restructured" and will not undergo tests at Le Croisic, site manager Christian Berhault said.

Project leader DCNS, a defence and shipping firm, confirmed that the timetable has been revised, aiming to install a "multi-megawatt" demonstrator in 2017-18, followed by a pilot project in 2019-20 and commercial deployment in 2022-23. Further details will be released in March, the company said.

Vertiwind, a vertical-axis floating turbine, has also seen numerous delays, though the onshore prototype is now due to start operating in February, said Charles Smadja, CEO of Lille-based designer Nénuphar.

And an unnamed floating turbine should be installed at Le Crosic, in place of the Winflo machine, by mid-2015, Berhault said. The two main contenders are Spinfloat or Ideol.