Current commercial offshore wind-farm installations are based on foundations that are fixed to the seabed. This limits both the areas in which they can be installed and the amount of wind power that can be harnessed. Developing viable floating offshore wind-turbine structures allows wind projects to be installed in deeper waters for superior wind power, reduced visual impact, far greater choice of installation locations while doing most work onshore, removing the need for use of heavy lift vessels and risky offshore operations.
The WindFloat project has developed a floating foundation for offshore wind turbines with a simple, economic and patented design. The WindFloat dampens wave and turbine-induced motion, enabling wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations. It also lowers the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) by reducing structural weight as well as installation, operational and, eventually, decommissioning costs.
Principle Power has now completed the first set of detailed design packages for the construction of a pre-commercial wind farm, to be constructed by consortium partner WindPlus. The goal is to optimise the WindFloat designs for current 5 – 8MW turbines as well as the 8MW-plus turbines of the future.
Project Coordination and Management: