WindPlus is a joint venture company led by the EDP Group with partners including Principle Power Inc. and several other entities. Its pioneer project, called the WindFloat Project, has the potential to lay the foundations for further development of the offshore business while helping to exploit the enormous offshore potential worldwide.
The contract with WindPlus includes delivery, installation and commissioning of a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for the project, which will be located off the Portuguese coast. Turbine delivery will take place in 2011. Moreover, Vestas will be the technology reference for the project, supporting the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.
Principle Power’s WindFloat is a patented semi-submersible floating structure for offshore wind turbines with a simple and economic design. Innovative features of the WindFloat dampen wave and turbine induced motion, enabling offshore wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 50 meters and wind resources are superior.
The system integrating the V80-2.0 MW wind turbine and the floating structure will be tested for no less than 12 months with a focus on performance, validation of the WindFloat and turbine control optimization. In addition, commissioning/decommissioning and operation and maintenance studies will be conducted.
First deployment of a commercial semi-submersible floating platform
Pending results of this project, the successful deployment of the first 2 MW semi-submersible floating platform carries the potential to become the first commercial semi-submersible floating platform for wind power offshore electricity generation. Thus, it represents a great opportunity for the implementation of future offshore projects worldwide, especially in regions with large and deep coast lines.
“EDP has selected offshore wind energy as one of its five innovation priorities and the WindFloat is one of the most promising technologies in this area. Pending results of this key demonstration stage, EDP will be better positioned to tackle offshore wind challenges worldwide,” asserted António Mexia, CEO of EDP.
“We at Principle Power welcome the EDP Group and Vestas as early adopters of our enabling technology,” says Alla Weinstein, President & CEO of Principle Power. “All the industrial skills and facilities needed are available in Portugal. This project is a significant step forward for Portugal in meeting its 2020 renewable energy generating targets and harvesting its deepwater offshore wind resources.”
Anders Søe-Jensen, President Vestas Offshore explains: “At Vestas, we are continuously looking into different solutions and materials that will bring even more value to our customers and lower the cost of energy in future offshore wind power plants. In that respect, floating foundations are one of the solutions, along with monopile and jacket foundations, with potential for harvesting wind in deeper water offshore sites.”
He concludes: “Provided that the project outcome is successful, we believe that it can reinforce the already existing offshore wind industry and thereby help countries around the world increase their wind energy penetration levels and raise their energy independence. We are committed to offshore wind power and helping drive new innovative solutions, such as this one cements our leading position in the offshore wind industry.”
Juan Araluce, President, Vestas Mediterranean, adds: “We are very pleased to announce this cooperation with WindPlus and the EDP Group, one of our global key accounts. This is a good example of how Vestas works to satisfy our customer’s needs strengthening the well-established relationship.” He concludes: “This is a groundbreaking project in the Mediterranean region. We believe that the project outcome could become a reference in the region and it could facilitate the implementation of best practices in other places around the world.”
Vestas has been in the offshore wind energy industry since its beginning and has installed around half of the world’s offshore wind power plants i.e. a total of more than 550 offshore wind turbines, providing a capacity of over 1,400 MW. The V112-3.0 MW Offshore is the last turbine in the offshore product line available on the market. Currently, Vestas is working on the development of a 6MW dedicated offshore platform.
Vestas Mediterranean is one of the seven Sales Business Units in Vestas Wind Systems A/S. It manages all sales, construction and service operations in the countries of the Mediterranean region, Middle East, Latin America, Caribbean as well as approximately 70 per cent of the African continent. As of 31 December 2010, this SBU delivered a cumulative capacity of 9,950 MW, representing 22.5 per cent of Vestas’ global capacity.
EDP is one of the major European energy utilities, with conventional electricity generation, distribution and commercialization activities in Portugal, Spain and Brazil. The Group is also involved in the natural gas sector in Portugal and Spain. Through EDP Renewables, EDP is the world’s third largest wind-energy producer and has significant activities in Europe, the US and Brazil.
Principle Power is a technology developer focused on the offshore wind energy market. Principle Power’s enabling product, a floating wind turbine support structure called WindFloat, provides for siting of offshore wind turbines in water depths greater than 50m, thus exploiting the world’s highest capacity wind resources. Offshore wind installations in these water depths have not been feasible, to date, due to economic and technological limitations.