EDP and Seattle-based Principle Power has teamed up to develop the world’s first floating wind power generator which cost 20 million euros ($25.3 million). Unlike previous offshore wind farms built in shallow waters and attached to the ocean floor, this wind power generator will floats over deep ocean waters.
According to the developers, the pilot produced 1.7 gigawatts of energy per hour(GWh) on average, enough to supply power to 1,300 families, since its blades started turning six month ago. The pilot sits six kilometres off the coast of the windy town of Povoa do Varzim, close to Porto in northern Portugal. It is 54 metres tall and weighs 1,200 tonnes, with a turbine from Denmark’s Vestas and backup from Repsol and other local partners.
According to the European Wind Energy association, its capacity at 2 megawatts (MW) is just below the average of offshore wind turbines in Europe, which was 3.6 MW at end-2011. Construction of a bigger wind farm park now awaits EU funding.
Principle Power Chief Executive Alla Weinstein stated that they have applied for a European Commission funding scheme that creates a tariff-like funding mechanism when you produce energy. It is provided through the monetisation of carbon credits.
Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva told reporters at a presentation of the 1st results of the pilot test, “We cannot help but still feel a bit proud about being in the front line in renewable energy. This ought to be a priority for Europe if it wants to reach its 2020 (carbon reduction) objectives.”