Spain

Spain

Video: X1 Wind poised to install prototype offshore wind floater 'as soon as weather allows'

Spain-based X1 Wind is ready to install a scaled prototype of its PivotBuoy floating wind system in the Canary Islands after it completed dynamic cable deployment at the test site, 2km off the coast of Gran Canaria.

X1 Wind has now installed the 1.4km-long dynamic cablethat will connect the prototype to Plocan's smartgrid (pic credit: X1 Wind/YouTube)
X1 Wind has now installed the 1.4km-long dynamic cablethat will connect the prototype to Plocan's smartgrid (pic credit: X1 Wind/YouTube)

But towing the prototype to site and hooking it up will have to wait for a suitable weather window, probably after mid-September when strong trade winds in the Canary Islands subside.

The company installed gravity-based foundations — comprising three reinforced concrete blocks — in December last year. It mounted the nacelle on the PivotBuoy structure in October 2021, using a Vestas V29 225kW turbine originally designed for fixed foundations, which has been retrofitted using a full-converter supplied by ABB.

The PivotBuoy design is one of three technologies aiming to demonstrate up to 300MW of precommercial offshore solutions at test sites around Gran Canaria by 2025 under the Plocan initiative.

Adrian Oliva, X1 Wind’s electrical engineering manager, said installing the 1.4km 20kV cable “will allow us to fully validate the floater and wind turbine performance, feeding the electricity to Plocan’s smartgrid, as well as transmitting data through its fibre optic connection. Also, we will be able to validate the cable’s dynamic behaviour”.

X1 Wind claims its PivotBuoy system is lighter than other spar and semi-submersible offshore platforms and towers and is designed for future mass production at a low cost. Fitting the turbine in a downwind configuration enables the structure to orientate passively and maximise energy yield. The single-point swivelling mooring system is connected to the foundations by vertical tensioned tendons that reduce the platform and cable dynamic motions, facilitating maintenance and minimising fatigue in the power cable.

PivotBuoy won a €4 million grant from the EU’s Horizon programme in March 2019 and a €2.5m ‘accelerator’ grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC) in June 2021 to develop the design and certify the platform. 

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