World’s second floating offshore wind farm gets EU finance boost

The European Investment Bank today announced a €60m loan to help fund the world’s second floating offshore wind power plant in Portugal.

Windplus – a subsidiary of EDP Renewables, Repsol and Principle Power – are developing the 25 MW floating offshore wind farm 20km off the Portuguese Viana do Castelo coast. The WindFloat project – due to be commissioned in 2019 – will sit in waters 85-100 metres deep.

One of the key advantages of floating offshore wind is that turbines are located further away from shores in areas with higher average wind speeds without depth constraints. Nearly 80% of Europe’s offshore wind resources are located in waters 60 metres or more. In addition, much of the construction, installation and operation and maintenance can be done in the port, limiting costs as compared to operations out at sea.

Floating offshore wind offers vast potential for growth in Europe. At 4,000 GW, it is significantly more than the resource potential of the US and Japan combined.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “After the success of the world’s first floating offshore wind farm – Equinor’s Hywind project in Scotland – it’s great to see a second project going ahead. Floating offshore wind now stands at the cusp of large-scale commercialisation. With the right policy measures, it could really take off over the next five to ten years. We’ve seen with bottom-fixed offshore wind how quickly costs can come down. The same could happen with floating. With the right visibility on volumes and industrialisation, floating offshore wind costs could fall from today’s €180-200/MWh to €40-60/MWh by 2030. To make his happen countries should learn from Hywind and WindFloat and include floating offshore wind in their National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030. And they should run floating-specific auctions to deliver these volumes”.

Read more about floating offshore wind in WindEurope’s new Policy Blueprint.