WindFloat gets the green light

PORTUGAL: The economy ministry has given the go-ahead to the Windplus consortium to begin construction of a floating offshore wind project.

WindFloat's prototype floating foundation with 2MW turbine; new project will use 8MW-plus machines

WindFloat Atlantic, set to be the first offshore wind project in the Iberian Peninsula, will comprise three turbines with a total capacity of 25MW in its pre-commercial phase.

It is scheduled to achieve financial close in the summer of 2017 and come online two years later.

A 2MW turbine on a Principle Power-designed prototype floating platform has operated successfully for four years.

The project was initially due to start production next year but was held up by Portugal’s energy regulator ERSE over concerns about the impact on electricity bills of the cost of the transmission line required.

The €48 million investment in the cable will now come from EU funds rather than being paid for by electricity consumers as initially planned, an economy ministry spokeswoman told Windpower Offshore .

The project itself was awarded €30 million in NER300 funding in 2012 and a further €19 million in 2014 from the Portuguese national carbon fund.

Windplus, a consortium owned by EDP Renewables, Mitsubishi, Chiyoda, Engie and Repsol, has expressed confidence it will be able to obtain the €100 million required to finance the project.