Floatgen demonstrator takes to the seas

FRANCE: The Floatgen demonstrator has left the quayside in St Nazaire to start its journey to the SEM REV test site, 12km offshore.

The Ideol platform was inaugurated in October (pic credit: BW Ideol/V Joncheray)

The Vestas 2MW turbine, on Ideol's ring-shaped concrete platform, will be France's first industrial-scale turbine of any kind installed offshore.

The floating structure should arrive at the test site late on Monday (30 April), after which installation should take about ten days, depending on the weather.

Following the inauguration in October, Ideol hoped to install the turbine over the winter.

However, when that proved impossible, th company used the time to carry out various tests, including of the control system, mechanical integration and structural dynamics, Thomas Choisnet, Ideol's chief technology officer, explained.

Once at sea, the demonstrator will undergo further tests lasting at least two years. Among other things, these will monitor the floater behaviour and trial different strategies for turbine control, optimising production and operation and maintenance.

Funded by the European Union, the Floatgen consortium comprises Ideol, Ecole Centrale Nantes, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Stuttgart University, Fraunhofer-IWES, RSK Group of UK and Zabala of Spain.

Update: On 16 May, Ideol confirmed the Floatgen turbine had been installed after a brief weather delay.