April 19, 2024
World's first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm meets expectations despite extreme storms

Photo: Windfloat Atlantic

Windfloat Atlantic – the world’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm – has been online for three years now and is breaking its own power production records.

The 25 megawatt (MW) Windfloat Atlantic project finished in 2023 with an electricity output of 80 gigawatt hours (GWh), surpassing the 2022 output of 78 GWh. It supplies electricity to more than 25,000 homes and avoids 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The offshore wind farm is located in the municipality of Viana do Castelo, 20 km north of Porto, off the coast of Portugal. It consists of three 8.4 megawatt (MW) Vestas wind turbines mounted on semi-submersible, three-pillar floating platforms moored by chains to the seabed. A 20 km long (12.4 mi long) cable connects it to the onshore substation.

It is a joint venture between Spanish renewables company EDPR, global energy firm ENGIE, Spanish energy firm Repsol and California-headquartered floating offshore wind firm Principal Power.

Windfloat Atlantic was connected to the grid in late 2019 and became operational in 2020. It has an operations and maintenance base in the port of Viana do Castelo, where the team receives wind farm information in real time so they can quickly address issues. , Onsite intervention may be complicated due to adverse weather and sea conditions in the area in which it is located.

The windfloat was stronger in front of Atlantic storm Ciaran, which swept across Europe in late October and early November last year due to a powerful jet stream coming from the Atlantic. The floating wind farm encountered waves up to 20 meters (66 ft) high and wind gusts of 139 km/h (86 mph).

Principal Power, who also worked on the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm off Kincardine, Scotland, explains what makes semi-submersible floating offshore wind unique:

Windfloat has been specifically developed to achieve exceptional stability performance, reduce structural weight and simplify logistics during installation and operation.

Virtual pitch- and yaw-free demonstration in an offshore environment allows the use of existing commercial offshore wind turbines located on one of the columns, with only minor modifications to control software.

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Source: electrek.co

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