Offshore wind energy: Vestas, EDP and WindPlus partners inaugurate the first offshore wind turbine

Vestas, EDP, Energias de Portugal, Repsol, Principle Power, A. Silva Matos (ASM) and InovCapital are pleased to announce the inauguration of Portugal’s first offshore wind turbine. The turbine is a Vestas V80-2.0 MW and is the first offshore turbine installed on the innovative floating foundation called the WindFloat. Vestas’ involvement in the WindFloat project underlines the company’s dedication to offshore wind power market.

In addition to being the first offshore wind turbine in Portugal, this is the first offshore wind turbine to be installed without the use of any heavy lift vessels or piling equipment at sea. All final assembly, installation and pre-commissioning of the turbine and substructure took place on land in a controlled environment. The complete system was then wet-towed offshore using simple tug vessels.

The Vestas V80-2.0 MW turbine installed on the WindFloat is capable of producing enough electricity to power 1,300 households. The floating offshore turbine is located 5km off the coast of Aguçadoura, Portugal, and has already produced in excess of 1.7 GWh.

The WindFloat represents a new era in offshore wind farm permitting utilities to target the highest quality wind resources, independent of water depth. In addition, projects can realise significant cost and risk reductions as a result of the onshore fabrication and commissioning scheme.

Strong partnerships at sea
The successful installation and on-going operations of the WindFloat in Portugal is the result of hard work and foresight on part of the WindPlus joint-venture, comprised of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, EDP, Repsol, Principle Power, ASM, and InovCapital including a subsidy from the Innovation Support Fund (Fundo de Apoio à Inovação – FAI). Repsol has recently joined the Windplus joint-venture as a significant shareholder bringing additional offshore experience and operational capabilities to the project team.

“Vestas has pioneered the wind turbines industry and is continuously striving to find new ways of lowering the cost of energy in offshore wind farm whilst increasing the business case certainty for our Customers. Floating foundations are one of the solutions with the highest potential for harvesting wind power in deeper waters, and the Windfloat project was a highly interesting possibility for us to help explore this area within offshore wind energy. We have been working in close collaboration with EDP and Principle Power on the project and we are very pleased with the successful integration of the turbine and the WindFloat platform. It has been an interesting and valuable experience and we are proud of the satisfactory results achieved so far,” states Vestas CEO, Ditlev Engel.

Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 46,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by approximately 55 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence.

Today, Vestas has delivered wind energy in 69 countries, providing jobs for over 20,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices all over the world. With 66.9 per cent more megawatts installed than our closest competitor and more than 50,000 MW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.

Vestas has pioneered offshore wind energy since 1990. The first offshore turbine was installed in 1991, and the first offshore wind farm – comprised of ten 500 kW turbines – was installed at Thunoe Knob in Denmark in 1995. Vestas aims to take offshore wind to the next level through the development of the offshore specific V164-7.0 MW wind turbine.

Today, Vestas has an installed offshore capacity of more than 580 turbines – equalling more than 1400 MW. Vestas’ global offshore market share is 38 per cent, and the company has a 100 per cent dedicated business unit with more than 300 employees working solely with offshore wind power.