Offshore wind has made its way to the Atlantic. Over 200 miles from the shore of Agucadoura, Portugal, a two-megawatt turbine is currently floating on the sea and will soon generate power. The project is expected to be up and running after a few weeks of testing. The turbine is a joint project between Seattle-based wind developer Principle Power and a Portuguese utility.
The turbine and floating platform were assembled onshore, then towed out to the open Atlantic. So how exactly does a tall wind turbine with a wide wingspan float in the ocean? The company behind the turbine says they have come up with a technology that reduces wave and wind movement on the platform, “which allows a large turbine to be placed in waters with depths of more that 164 feet, where it is able to capture stronger winds,” Renewable Energy World reported today. The company says that any wind turbine can be used with the platform.
“In a way we are making a similar leap towards new energy resources as the Oil & Gas industry did in the 1970’s when it began using floating structures,” Alla Weinstein, CEO of Principle Power, said in a statement. The single Portugal turbine is a pilot for a larger program that will ultimately be a 150 MW offshore floating wind farm.
Will Texas be next? One company, Baryonyx, is working on developing windfarms with hundreds of turbines off the coasts of Corpus Christi and Brownsville. The company has leased 67,500 acres offshore, the most of any wind energy company in the state.
A video of the floating platform in Portugal: