Utility EDP plans deep water project off Portugal

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EDP Inovação, a subsidiary of Portuguese energy utility EDP, is to develop a deep-water offshore wind power project off Portugal together with Seattle-based Principle Power. The EUR 30 million venture will use Principle Powers's WindFloat platforms, which consist of three moored, semi-submerged columns with ballast inside and horizontal metal plates at the base of each column providing stability in extreme weather. Like offshore technology being developed by Dutch firm Blue H (Windpower Monthly, November 2008) WindFloat platforms are envisioned for waters at least 50 metres deep. The platforms can be assembled onshore and towed to the project site, reducing construction costs and facilitating site selection, according to the companies. EDP says it will use 5 MW wind turbines. The company is evaluating turbine suppliers. After installation of a demonstration model, there will be a pre-commercial phase deploying 3-5 units, followed by commercialisation in 2012. Additional shareholders are to be announced later. In 2007, EDP agreed to jointly develop offshore wind with Portugal's Martifer, a wind farm developer and tower supplier. Last year, Norway's StatoilHydro, also developing a floating platform concept, was reportedly in talks with EDP and Portuguese Galp Energia on joint ventures in offshore wind farms and last month EDP teamed up with British SeaEnergy to bid into the third round of UK offshore site licensing (previous page).

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