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Plans for full-scale floating wind-wave hybrid pilot off Spain

Danish engineering firm secures test centre berth to install 'world’s first multi-megawatt floating wind and wave pilot'

An artist's impression of what Floating Power Plant's wind/wave pilot might look like
An artist's impression of what Floating Power Plant's wind/wave pilot might look like

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Danish engineering firm Floating Power Plant (FPP) has secured a test site in the Canary Islands to build the world’s first full-scale hybrid wind and wave project. 

The 5MW-plus project will be built at the test site of Gran Canaria’s Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (Plocan), off the coast of the Canary Islands, and will feature wind and wave power on a single platform. 

It will be “a key milestone in delivering the world’s first multi-megawatt wind and wave energy device and allows us to demonstrate what the system can offer remote islands looking to overcome the challenges of renewable energy integration”, said FPP’s head of commercial and operations, Chris McConville.

FPP has not finalised the project design, and so has not reached a firm decision on how the 5MW-plus capacity will be split between wind and wave.

However, an FPP spokesman told Windpower Monthly that the split between wave and wind power will be roughly 1MW of wave power and at least 4MW of wind, but that the company is “aiming for more than 5MW.” 

The pilot project will be connected to the grid through a new subsea cable.

Construction of the Gran Canaria project should start in 2023, with the platform due to enter operation in 2024, according to FPP. The developer expects the pilot project to be operational for ten years. 

Plocan director José Joaquín Hernández Brito said the project’s benefits include “demonstrating ocean renewable energy, accelerating energy transition in the islands, untapping the huge offshore wind potential, decreasing generation costs and energy dependence on imported oil derivatives”.

This particular project will involve just a single platform as it is the first one, according to FPP. But “in future platforms we’re ready to deploy a series of platforms”, after obtaining data and experience to optimise the design, a spokesman added.. 

FPP believes future floating platforms could use a single wind turbine ranging from 4-15MW, with 1-4MW wave power capacity “dependent on the wave resource”.

The deal follows a memorandum of understanding between FPP and Plocan, which was signed in 2019.

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