NextFloat Project launches with the aim to pave the way for competitive and industrial deployment of floating wind

  • The initiative is being led by a consortium of thirteen partners from eight countries including Technip Energies, X1Wind, Naturgy, 2B Energy, Hellenic Cables, Technical University of Denmark, Hydro, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Schwartz Hautmont, Ocas, Tersan Shipyard, Ocean Ecostructures and Cybernetix.
  • The project was officially launched in Paris and will lead to the deployment of a 6MW floating wind prototype in the French Mediterranean to demonstrate at a relevant scale an innovative integrated downwind floating platform design.

A pan-European project officially launched on November 18th in Paris to accelerate the roll out of the next generation of floating wind technology for a competitive, more scalable and industrial deployment.

The ambitious initiative is being led by a consortium of thirteen partners from eight countries including Technip Energies as project coordinator, X1Wind, Naturgy, 2B Energy, Hellenic Cables, Technical University of Denmark, Hydro, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Schwartz Hautmont, Ocas, Tersan Shipyard, Ocean Ecostructures and Cybernetix.

Backed by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe program with public funding of 16M€, plus private funding from partners and shareholders, the project is anticipated to run until 2027. 

The project will lead to the deployment of a 6MW floating wind prototype at the Mistral test site in the French Mediterranean Sea, to demonstrate at a relevant scale an innovative integrated downwind floating platform design, while advancing in parallel on the industrialization and scaling-up of the integrated solution up to 20MW+ scale, in preparation of commercial floating wind farms under development in Europe. 

This project builds upon previous European Projects such as the PivotBuoy which recently led to the installation of a part-scale prototype in the Canary Islands to validate the technology. Design work for the initial 6MW system is currently underway and scheduled to be finalized in 2023. Construction is due in 2023 and 2024, ahead of installation in 2025.

Laure Mandrou, SVP Carbon-Free Energy solutions of Technip Energies, said: “While the COP 27 just ended, we can only note that there is an urgent requirement for greater climate action and a swift transition to renewables energy. Floating wind is one of the lowest carbon electricity generation systems to meet the energy demand in a sustainable way while inducing better competitiveness, less noise and visual pollution, and less interaction with the users of the maritime domain. The NextFloat Project represents a unique opportunity to test a novel and disruptive version of this technology at full scale, driving cost curve reductions in order to deliver industrial-scale projects at the earliest possible stage”.

Alex Raventos, CEO and co-founder of X1 Wind said: “After the successful deployment and validation of our innovative low-cost solution in the Canary Islands (PivotBuoy project), the goal now is to scale-up and industrialize the technology in advance of large commercial floating wind projects which will come online at the end of the decade across European, Asian and US waters. This will allow us time to drive substantial improvements in the competitiveness of floating wind as we prepare for long-term mass deployment.”

Jesús Chapado, Head of Innovation of Naturgy, said: “The major transformation that we are facing in the energy sector forces innovation to be collaborative and open. We need to be capable of generating symbiosis among large corporations like Naturgy, and start-ups, scale-ups, research centres and universities. The Nextfloat project is composed of all these agents and will allow us to learn from the challenges we will face within the project, establish new partnerships and get know-how for the future deployment of commercial floating offshore wind farms in Europe”.

About Technip Energies

Technip Energies is a leading Engineering & Technology company for the energy transition, with leadership positions in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), hydrogen and ethylene as well as growing market positions in blue and green hydrogen, sustainable chemistry and CO2 management. The company benefits from its robust project delivery model supported by extensive technology, products and services offering. 

Operating in 34 countries, our 15,000 people are fully committed to bringing our client’s innovative projects to life, breaking boundaries to accelerate the energy transition for a better tomorrow. Technip Energies is listed on Euronext Paris with American depositary receipts (“ADRs”) traded over-the-counter in the United States. 

About X1 Wind

X1 Wind is a disruptive floating wind technology developer. Based in Barcelona, Spain, the firm’s mission is to provide highly scalable solutions which deliver clean, affordable energy while reducing carbon emissions across the globe. The company’s unique floating wind concept was initially developed by Carlos Casanovas in 2012 while studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), before progressing the patented technology for almost a decade. 
In recent years, X1 Wind has rapidly built a team of now more than 35 experienced experts in the wind and offshore sectors and progressed its technology roadmap, with several tank testing campaigns and the current a part-scale demonstrator under tests in the Canary Islands under real operational conditions. X1 Wind is now backed up by leading industrial and institutional investors such as Technip Energies, Innoenergy and the EIC Fund among others.

About Naturgy
Naturgy is a leading multinational company dedicated to the generation, distribution and commercialization of energy and services that works to guarantee the well-being of people, the progress of companies and society, and the sustainability of the planet. It operates in regulated and liberalized electricity and gas markets, with a growing contribution from international activities. 
Naturgy operates in 20 countries with more than 16 million customers and nearly 50% of its 7.000 employees work outside Spain. Its international presence puts it in an ideal position to capitalize on the growth of new regions which are in the process of economic growth, making it one of the world’s most important operators.

About 2B Energy

2-B Energy was founded in 2007 by Herbert Peels and Mikael Jakobsson, both with strong backgrounds in the Wind Industry. The company has introduced a new offshore wind turbine concept, based on 2-bladed downwind design, with considerably lower cost of energy produced. 

The company has its base in Hengelo, The Netherlands with subsidiaries in Germany, and Spain. The team consists of some 30 professionals with backgrounds from major turbine OEM’s. 2BE has a 6MW 2-bladed downwind turbine successfully operating on a fixed truss tower since the beginning of 2016. Since then, the 2B6 has produced more than 84 GWh, conforming to calculated output levels and with availability levels equal or better than today’s commercially available turbines. 

About Hellenic Cables

With 70 years of successful cable manufacturing, Hellenic Cables is recognized today as one of the leading energy transfer and distribution companies in Europe, renewables and offshore wind, telecom and data networks, construction and industry markets. The Company is distinguished for its strong exports orientation and building long-term partnerships and links with major organizations in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom.

We manufacture power, telecommunication and submarine cables and compounds serving major sectors such as energy transmission & distribution, oil and gas, renewables, telecommunications and construction. Technical knowledge is combined with continual investment in state-of-the-art machinery to ensure levels of efficiency and quality meet the highest standards.

About Technical University of Denmark

The Wind and Energy Systems department at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Wind) is one of the leading worldwide research institutions in the area of wind energy. DTU Wind strives to create impact for people and society through research and innovation. The department collaborates with the entire energy sector to develop the most effective technology on the planet and has the vision of being the leading university partner in a world that runs entirely on renewable energy.
The department consists of 20 research sections covering the full spectrum of wind and energy systems: from investigating nanoscale structures to macro-scale atmospheric flow; from designing the turbines of tomorrow to the digital energy solutions of the future; from developing electric power systems to exploring more democratic processes for project planning. It operates some of the world’s most advanced research infrastructure and test facilities for wind and energy systems. Researchers and companies can test everything from nano-scale materials, large-scale structures, fully powered demonstrations of turbines to stability and balancing the net-infrastructure.

About Hydro

Hydro is a leading industrial company that builds businesses and partnerships for a more sustainable future. We develop industries that matter to people and society. Since 1905, Hydro has turned natural resources into valuable products for people and businesses, creating a safe and secure workplace for our 31,000 employees in more than 140 locations and 40 countries. Today, we own and operate various businesses and have investments with a base in sustainable industries. Hydro is through its businesses present in a broad range of market segments for aluminium, energy, metal recycling, renewables and batteries, offering a unique wealth of knowledge and competence. Hydro is committed to leading the way towards a more sustainable future, creating more viable societies by developing natural resources into products and solutions in innovative and efficient ways.

About OPEN-C

The OPEN-C Foundation will be, in 2023, the largest offshore test centre for floating wind and Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) in Europe. The Foundation will coordinate the five test sites developed and operated independently in France over the past few years. It’s mission will be to develop and manage offshore tests for floating offshore wind, tidal power, wave energy, offshore hydrogen and floating photovoltaics. These five sites will be completed by the creation of the first “High Power” test site. The OPEN-C Foundation is a high impact project, which contributes to a more rapid energy transition and to enhancing France’s position on these strategic issues.

About Ocas

OCAS is a Research and Development service contractor focussing on alloy processing and pushing the boundaries of steel usage of critical components in structures. This involves accelerated full-scale component testing towards improved structural integrity and lower cost.  For several years OCAS has been working on offshore wind related projects and other subjects linked to the Global Energy Transition. Therefore, we are excited to be part of NEXTFLOAT, as this project builds further on our fatigue testing and qualification expertise in fixed offshore wind foundations. We are looking forward to seeing our contribution realised into an optimised and scaled-up steel design of the floating structure which can later be rolled out in great numbers. OCAS is a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and the Flemish Region. 

About Tersan Shipyard 

Tersan Shipyard Inc. is one of the major global shipyards in Europe, serving its customers as a trusted partner in shipbuilding and in ship repair industries. Tersan Shipyard is fully private owned, and has its roots in maritime business many years back. The Shipyard is belonging to Tersan group of companies providing value-added services in diversified sectors, i) new ship building, ii) ship repair, docking & conversion, iii) ship owning & operation, iv) ship agency services and v) land-based renewable energy.

About Ocean Ecostructures

Ocean Ecostructures is a company specialized in the development of regenerative technology. We provide solutions to offset impact of marine infrastructures.

We revitalize and reforest marine infrastructures, recovering  ecosystem services and improving 
competitiveness (cost reduction, income generation) and social recognition.
We implement Nature-Based Solutions leading to net zero.

About Cybernetix

Cybernetix has more than 35 years of experience and expertise with 120 employees in France and in our subsidiary, CyXplus. Our solutions help our customers to increase uptime, reduce costs, and improve safety and speed of decision-making through enhanced monitoring and advanced robotic solutions for inspection operations and delicate interventions.

Cybernetix has five areas of expertise. Robotics: inspection and intervention in harsh environments to reduce costs, risks and CO2 emissions; Monitoring: monitoring the integrity of assets for the oil, gas and offshore renewable energy industries; Visual Intelligence: visualization models of infrastructures, recorded or in real time, to monitor and plan project construction activities collectively; Instrumented mechanical testing and non-destructive testing and X-ray, tomography or vision inspection systems developed by CyXplus for the manufacturing industry.

About Schwartz Hautmont

Schwartz-Hautmont, celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023, is a private Spanish company headquartered in Vila-seca, Tarragona, Spain, and is an industry-leading steel construction company known for manufacturing pressure vessels and steel structures, amongst other specialized construction-related products, such as modular construction, scientific installations -large telescopes and antennas-, and subsea and offshore units, globally servicing the oil & gas, energy and infrastructures markets.  With a production capacity of 1,000,000 man-hours per year, Schwartz-Hautmont team strives every day to offer the highest quality products to its customers, operating in a fair, ethical and sustainable manner and investing to reduce its carbon footprint.