The GICON Group will receive a pro-rata funding of EUR 5.25 million from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Ministry of Economy, Construction and Tourism for their floating offshore foundation, the GICON® SOF.
The official notification of the funding confirmation secures fabrication, construction and testing of the first floating wind turbine in Germany. In total, EUR 18 million will be invested.
"For nearly 2 years, the GICON Group has, at its own risk and with a significant proportion of own resources, pursued the goal to build a full-scale pilot of the GICON® SOF and deploy it in the German Baltic Sea. On behalf of all team members and partners involved in the SOF development, I want to thank the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the constructive cooperation. As a result of the funding commitment and the secured financing, we can now fully focus on the challenges ahead," said GICON's Owner and Managing Director, Prof. Jochen Grossmann.
"Our objectives are to promote scientific and technological progress and to provide an opportunity for growth in this region," Harry Glawe, Minister for Economy, Construction and Tourism added.
The fabrication of the 1:1 pilot plant will start on July 1st, 2014 at the Volkswerft shipyard in Stralsund, Germany. Thanks to weight- and cost-optimized planning, a material reduction of around 50% can be achieved, compared to earlier design versions. Deployment for extensive functional and technical testing as well as environmental monitoring is planned for mid-2015 near the existing offshore wind park Baltic I in the German Baltic Sea.
The GICON® SOF for wind turbines is an outstanding innovation and a tremendous new opportunity for offshore wind farms. It offers a variety of advantages over conventional offshore foundations such as the possibility to exploit offshore wind resources in areas with 20 meter to 500 meter water depths. Such conditions are found in Europe, North America as well as in Asia Pacific.
Compared to conventional bottom mounted foundations, the GICON® SOF, including the mounted turbine, can be towed to and installed on site without the need for additional installation vessels. This allows a much more cost-effective construction and weather-independent deployment. The stability of the foundation and thus the mechanical demands on the turbine are similar to those of conventional offshore wind foundations.
Press release, April 30, 2014; Image: GICON