The wind energy project for the first offshore floating wind turbine in Portugal is now becoming operational. It will be installed off Aguçadoura, in the north of the country, and it will be the first of its kind in Southern Europe.
Developed by the Portuguese EDP, the project involves the construction, over the next six months, of a 2 MW wind turbine prototype. The estimated investment for the construction and installation of the prototype is 4.1 million euros per MW installed.
After 12 months of testing, the pre-commercial phase will follow, involving the installation of additional 3 to 5, 5 MW wind turbines. Finally, the actual industrial phase will take place, with the progressive installation of 5 MW turbines, achieving a total capacity of 150 MW.
The chosen technology, patented by the American company Power Principle under the name WindFloat, consists of a floating triangular structure, topped by three void pillars that allow it to float stably. On one of the three pillars, the tower that supports the turbine is installed. The entire structure is anchored to the seabed by means of cables and it can be installed virtually in any sea with a depth ranging between 50 metres and several hundred metres.
According to EDP, "the innovative features of WindFloat allow it to achieve a better control of wave movement and of wind turbines compared to other deep offshore projects. Moreover, it is considered ideal for Portuguese seas, which have strong winds but few areas sufficiently deep for the installation of conventional turbines anchored to the seabed”.