Principle Power Completes 5-Year WindFloat Prototype Testing

Principle Power has concluded the 5-year testing campaign of the WindFloat Prototype.

Principle Power, along with its project partners EDP, Repsol, Portugal Ventures and A. Silva Matos, have installed the 2MW WindFloat Prototype (WF1) 5km offshore of Aguçadoura, Portugal, in October 2011.

Principle Power and its project partners said they were pleased with the results of the testing campaign, as the system has met or exceeded all design expectations.

Over the course of its operation, the WF1 system has endured extreme Atlantic Ocean weather conditions, including waves exceeding 17 meters in height and winds exceeding 60 knots, and showed impressive operational performance. The WF1 has delivered approximately 17 gigawatt hours of energy to the local grid whilst providing high levels of availability.

The final stage of the technology demonstration will involve the decommissioning of the system.

This activity will demonstrate the advantages of the WindFloat, relative to bottom-fixed offshore wind foundations, with regards to decommissioning including: reduced decommissioning risk, reduced costs and reduced environmental impacts, Principle Power said.

The WindFloat technology allows operators to disconnect the system from its moorings and return to port in the case of decommissioning or a large corrective action. In the case of WF1, the system will be disconnected from its power cable and moorings, towed to a port facility in Portugal, and once at port, the system will go through a final inspection. Additionally, Principle Power will evaluate possible alternatives for repurposing the unit.

Current WindFloat designs are already underway for multi-unit wind farms with 5-8 MW turbines from various suppliers. Principle Power is now focused on its near-term projects in markets around the world, namely Portugal, the US, France, the UK and Japan.