On 13 October, the Floatgen project, which aims at demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of floating wind turbines, was officially inaugurated.
The project will see the deployment of a 2 MW floating wind turbine, at the SEM-REV test site located 12 nautical miles from the city of Le Croisic on the French Atlantic coast. The floating turbine is composed of a floating foundation developed and patented by Ideol, known as the Damping Pool, which will be fitted with a 2 MW Vestas V80 wind turbine. Once the whole assembly is towed to the SEM-REV installation site, the wind turbine will be connected to the anchoring system and the electricity export cable.
This will be the first offshore wind turbine to be installed in France, highlighting the dynamism of the sector and the high potential of France for floating offshore wind.
Along with the commissioning of Statoil’s Hywind Scotland project back in July, the Floatgen project confirms that floating is not confined to R&D anymore. This technology has developed significantly in recent years, and with a pipeline of projects approaching the commercialisation of over 350 MW by 2021, and a full potential of close to 4,000 MW in European waters, this technology is now ready to be integrated into the energy market.
As stated in WindEurope’s floating offshore wind vision statement, an increase in offshore wind installations is now needed in order to meet the renewable electricity generation targets set by the European Commission. This can only be realised if floating offshore wind receives a stronger commitment from policymakers throughout Europe, allowing for the very positive cost-reduction outlook of floating technology that will come with upcoming volumes.