Wind wire: Large-scale offshore

A EUR2.5 million research project aimed at increasing Finland's expertise in building large-scale offshore wind farms is nearing completion at Ajos, off the country's north-west Kemi coast.

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The project's goal is to develop industrial-scale foundation technology for offshore turbines capable of functioning in northern subarctic conditions. A three section tower is currently being added to Finland's first steel-based offshore wind power plant foundation. A weight equivalent to the mass of the nacelle and rotor will be added on top of the tower so that the pilot plant will resemble as closely as possible a functioning offshore 3 MW wind turbine. The pilot tower, when erected in September, will be tested for stress and loading factors produced by the sea, ice and wind during the coming winter months. If the foundation technology works as planned, the weight will be replaced by a functioning machine room and rotor, while the pilot power plant will be connected to the grid. The project is being led by Pohjolan Voima, the country's biggest wind power producer, and reveals a deepening level of interest in offshore wind. It is due to be completed in 2010.

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