France's first offshore turbine finally online

FRANCE: The country's first offshore wind turbine has exported electricity to the grid for the first time.

Ideol's Floatgen exported its first kWh to the grid on 18 September, the developer announced

A fault in the transmission connection had delayed Ideol’s floating demonstrator Floatgen delivering power to the grid, but the 2MW Vestas turbine is is now fully operational, the developer stated.

It had initially been built in the port of St-Nazaire in October 2017 and towed to the Ecole Centrale de Nantes’ SEM-REV offshore test site, 12km off Le Croisic on France's west coast in April 2018.

Despite a "technical problem" affecting the export cable from the test site being identified in 2016, the exact location of the fault was not initially located, and the turbine could not be commissioned until September 2018.

Now fully operational, the demonstrator will undergo further tests to monitor platform behaviour and trial different strategies for turbine control, optimising production and operations and maintenance (O&M) for at least two years.

The turbine is the first operational unit of Ideol’s floating foundation concept — a turbine mounted on a pool-dampening concrete floater.

Ideol also has a floating demonstration project awaiting commissioning off of Japan’s south-west coast. The developer said it would be operational soon.