WindFloat foundation certified

FRANCE: Certification body Bureau Veritas has approved the design of Principle Power's WindFloat floating foundation (FOWT).

A prototype of Principle Power's WindFloat platform has been operating since 2011
A prototype of Principle Power's WindFloat platform has been operating since 2011

The ballasted triangular foundation can support a multi-megawatt turbine. A 2MW prototype has been in operation off the coast of Portugal since 2011.

Engineers confirmed the design methodologies, covering hydrodynamics, structure, stability, electricity and machinery are fit and proper for use in all phases of a project.

"Our expertise with the offshore floating structures and metocean conditions means we can ensure designs for new FOWTs will be safe, reliable and will produce power over the expected range of environmental conditions," said Bureau Veritas head of offshore Matthieu de Tugny.

"It offers substantial advantages over fixed offshore wind turbines as the entire unit can be assembled ashore, and FOWTs can be installed in deep water and areas with varied underwater landscapes. There is also a much lower environmental impact from their installation," Tugny added.

Principle Power's design is set to be used at an offshore site in the Mediterranean Sea, off the south of France, being developed by Engie (formerly GDF Suez) and construction firm Eiffage.

The design has also been earmarked for a project in the US. Principle Power and US developer Deepwater Wind are hoping to install a 24MW floating demonstration project 25km off Oregon in 2018. It is set to feature four Siemens 6MW turbines.

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