Ideol's French floating offshore wind pilot ramps up production

New records have been set for France’s only floating wind turbine, which produced 14% more power than the previous year

Ideol said its floater successfully dealt with challenging weather conditions last year

Ideol's 2MW Floatgen turbine produced 6.8GWh of electricity in 2020 – 14% more than in 2019 – for a total of 12.8GWh in two years. 

Installed at the Sem-Rev test site off Le Croisic on France’s Atlantic coast, the floater also achieved a new record capacity factor of 66% in February 2020.

Ideol said the wind turbine had faced “very challenging weather conditions” in February last year, with maximum wave heights of nearly 11 metres.

Floatgen is equipped with a Vestas V80 2MW turbine, which rests on a square concrete "barge" with a central opening — Ideol’s patented "damping pool" design — to counter swell and increase the foundation and turbine’s stability.

Ideol’s foundations have a 7-10-metre draught and dimensions of 35 to 55 metres, which is smaller than other floating foundations.

Floatgen was commissioned in September 2018 with a shelf life of five years. Its latest success has guaranteed that the project will reach this timeline, the company told WPM.

In the next three years, Ideol has said the extension to the project will allow it to “pursue its research activities in order to further optimise its solution”.  

In Japan, Ideol is working with Japanese renewables developer Shizen Energy on the country’s first commercial-scale floating project off Kyushu, the country’s southernmost island.

The company has also teamed up with Belgium-based Elicio to develop floating wind projects in Scottish waters and is part of a consortium with French developer Quadran selected to equip the Mediterranean’s first floating offshore wind farm off Gruissan.