Renewable energy technology developer, Principle Power, was awarded a Department of Energy grant worth $4M and up to $47M in total funding, to support its WindFloat Pacific Demonstration Project.
Principle Power has announced the list of official project partners, all marked to deliver essential contributions to the WindFloat project. The list of project partners include MacArtney Underwater Technology, Siemens Wind Power, Houston Offshore Engineering, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, RPS Evan Hamilton, Forristal Ocean Engineering, the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas.
The WindFloat Pacific Demonstration Project is focused around a 30MW floating offshore wind farm, planned to be located approximately 25 kilometers west of Oregon’s Port of Coos Bay.
To date, due to technology and project economics, offshore wind farm locations have been limited to environmentally and stakeholder sensitive shallow inshore waters. However, based on a patented floating foundation for offshore wind turbines, the innovative features of the WindFloat allow turbines to be placed at deep water locations, out-of-sight from shore where the wind is stronger and more consistent.
The WindFloat offers considerable economical advantages over traditional offshore wind solutions, since the entire turbine and floating foundation is built and assembled on shore, and installed using conventional tug vessels. This way, the WindFloat is also a more cost-effective, simpler and less risky approach to offshore wind development. A prototype of the WindFloat system has been operating successfully off the coast of Portugal since October 2011. This installation marks the first multi-megawatt offshore wind turbine to be installed without the use of any heavy lift offshore vessels.