EDPR constantly analyzes the commercial outlook of a wide range of early-stage renewable energy technologies as a way to move forward. The WindFloat project, led by EDP Inovação in partnership with EDPR, provides evidence of this approach.
The WindFloat Project developed an innovative technology that will allow the exploitation of the wind potential at sea, at depths of more than 40m. The innovation focus of the project is the development of a floating foundation, based on the experiences from the oil and gas industry, which will support multi-MW wind turbines in offshore applications. The floating foundation is semi-submersible and is anchored to the seabed. Its stability is due to the use of “water entrapment plates” on the bottom of the three pillars, associated with a static and dynamic ballast system. WindFloat adapts to any type of offshore wind turbine. It is built entirely on land – including the installation of the turbine – thus avoiding the use of scarce marine resources.
The WindFloat Project encompasses the design and construction of a demonstration unit, including a 2 MW turbine. The unit has been installed off the Portuguese coast, close to Aguçadoura, and was connected to the grid by the end of December 2011. The project is the first offshore wind deployment worldwide which did not require the use of heavy lift equipment offshore. This is the first offshore wind turbine in open Atlantic waters and the first deployment of a semi-submersible structure supporting a multi-megawatt wind turbine.