Norwegian oil & gas specialist Aker Solutions has purchased an initial 5% stake in Principle Power, forming an alliance that brings its offshore oil & gas engineering expertise into the floating offshore wind market.
Aker Solutions will increase its stake to 10% by the end of the year, with the option of increasing the ownership further at a later stage.
According to the company, the partnership will help bring Principle Power's innovative floating foundation, WindFloat, to a broader market.
"We see a major opportunity in offshore floating wind where demand is growing in the transition to a low-carbon future," said Aker Solutions Chief Executive Officer Luis Araujo.
"Combining our capabilities with Principle Power's technology will help advance floating solutions for offshore wind, reducing costs and risks for customers and spurring further growth in the sector."
WindFloat allows wind turbines to be placed at offshore sites with some of the most abundant wind resources, irrespective of water depths, the company said, emphasizing that the installation and operation and maintenance of the foundation lower the risks, costs and environmental impact compared with competing technology.
The WindFloat technology was first installed in 2011 as a 2MW prototype called WindFloat 1 off the Northern Coast of Portugal. The prototype was dismantled in September 2016.
The technology will also be used on the WindFloat Atlantic project, a 25MW wind farm planned for deployment offshore Northern Portugal which is backed by a consortium of EDP Renewables, Trust Wind (a 50/50 JV between Engie and Marubeni), Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Repsol.