PivotBuoy Floater Secures EU Funding

X1 Wind’s single point mooring system platform for floating wind turbines is set to receive EUR 4 million of EU Commission Horizon 2020 funding.

A consortium of nine partners, led by X1 Wind, will deploy a prototype of the PivotBuoy at a test site at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN). The consortium will integrate a part-scale prototype of the PivotBuoy into a downwind floating wind platform designed by X1 Wind at PLOCAN’s test site.

The system will be installed by 2020, where other innovations related to assembly and installation will be validated, X1 Wind said. The project will officially start on 1 April and will last for 36 months.

Once proven, the technology stands to reduce platform weight by as much as 80 per cent and costs by 50 per cent, turning floating wind competitive, X1 Wind said.

The project aims to validate the benefits of the PivotBuoy system and other key innovations to reduce installation, operation and maintenance costs, paving the path to achieve EUR 50/MWh in commercial-scale wind farms.

First backed by EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s sustainable energy innovation engine, the platform can operate at an increased water depth, compared to other floating solutions, opening up hundreds of sites, which were previously technically or commercially inaccessible, according to X1 Wind.

The system is said to combine advantages of Single Point Mooring systems (SPM) with those of Tension-Leg Platform systems (TLP) and a more efficient downwind structural design, enabling a radical weight reduction in floating wind structures compared to current spar and semi-submersible systems.

Alex Raventos, CEO at X1 Wind, said: “In the last decade, a number of prototypes have successfully proven floating wind is technically feasible, but costs need to be reduced by at least 50%. Technology disruption is required to achieve large-scale competitive floating offshore wind. Together with a consortium of nine cutting edge R&D institutions and industry partners, we plan to demonstrate the advantages of our innovative PivotBuoy system. We are delighted to receive this important support from the European Commission.”

The project consortium includes X1 Wind, ESM, WavEC, PLOCAN, EDP, INTECSEA, DTU, DNV GL and DEGIMA.

Photo: X1 Wind

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