The Iberian Peninsula´s first ” offshore” wind farm has begun its commissioning a few kilometers of the Galician coast. Atlantic WindFloat project is an installation of 25 MW located 18 km from Viana do Castelo. Repsol, EDP Renováveis (EDPR), Mitsubishi Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation and Engie form the consortium responsible for its implementation.
Three wind turbines on floating foundations with a total capacity of 25 MW will be operational in 2018. WindFloat Atlantic is a project that will benefit the 40,000 families closest located to the place chosen as “headquarters” zone and it will initially cause a regenerator effect in employment in the surrounding area because it will create about 500 jobs, according to preliminary estimates.
Repsol, EDP Renováveis (EDPR), Mitsubishi Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation and Engie have signed an agreement to establish this floating offshore wind farm in the north coast of Portugal, located at 18-20 km from the coast of the Portuguese town of Viana do Castelo, with a budget of over 20 million euros.
The project will be supported by the European Commission through the NER 300 program, and by the Portuguese Government through the Portuguese Carbon Fund. In addition, the project has been selected under the European Investment Bank´s InnovFin program.
At 18 kilometers from the same town, the energy production park will be joined to the mainland system by a submarine “umbilical cord” that will serve as a bridge between the amazing installation and a site with two wind turbines on 100 meters high towers.
The consortium will use the ‘WindFloat’ technology, an innovative semisubmersible foundations system developed by Principle Power, Inc. This technology was already applied in the first prototype of this kind, called ‘WindFloat 1’, located near Povoa do Varzim.
The wind turbines will be supplied by the Danish specialist Vestas, who will install them on a geographic point where water depth exceeds 50 meters. Vestas V80 wind turbines will have a capacity of 2 MW and will be placed on a floating foundation ‘WindFloat’ for offshore wind turbines.
The prototype has already produced more than 16 gigawatts / hour (GWh) along its nearly four years of operation, demonstrating excellent performance even in extreme weather conditions.
This technology is already used in offshore wind farms in the UK, as well as in Denmark in the parks of London Array, Greater Gabbard, Bard, are Walney or Thornton Bank.
Offshore wind in Portugal
The project will most likely raise much interest in Spain, whose aspirations regarding offshore wind are severely restricted by very high depths of the sea also within very short distance of the shore.
This would open the vast field of marine wind exploitation. So far, this segment of the wind business is restricted to sites with depth (almost always) between thirty and thirty-five meters due to the difficulties of building the foundations, although there is a pilot installation in waters of 45 meters depth specifically the one named Beatrice platform in Scotland.