WindFloat Atlantic, 20 kilometers off the coast of Viana do Castello, Portugal, has become the world’s first offshore wind farm to be in class with a classification society, after its three 8.4 MW floating turbines were accepted by the ABS Class Committee.
The three ABS-classed, semi-submersible type units were designed by Principle Power. They carry MHI Vestas turbines producing a total of 25 MW of floating offshore wind power.
WindFloat Atlantic, of which Ocean Winds is the majority shareholder, is continental Europe’s first larger scale floating wind farm,
“It’s a historic first and, we believe, the first of many more to come. ABS has made a significant contribution both to this project and the development of offshore floating wind in Portugal,” said Matt Tremblay, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore. “It underscores the potential of Class and industry working together for the safe adoption of new technologies. ABS has supported innovation in offshore energy since 1958. This landmark project underlines how we continue to support promising offshore technology more than 60 years later.”
“The WindFloat Atlantic project is again showing its technology reliability. Having achieved formal ABS classification for the three floating platforms is therefore an important milestone for the project shareholders and also for the offshore floating wind industry,” said Jose Pinheiro, Ocean Winds Southern Europe BU Country Manager.
The landmark is the latest chapter in a story that began with the earliest days of floating wind in Portugal when ABS supported development of the 2 MW WindFloat 1 that was installed in 2012.
The WindFloat Atlantic project is being developed by the Windplus consortium, which is jointly owned by Ocean Winds (a 50:50 JV owned and created by EDP Renewables and Engie), Repsol, and Principle Power Inc.
Thanks to their floating foundations, floating offshore wind farms are not subject to the same depth restrictions as fixed structures and can be at any depth. With the development of larger turbines above 10 MW and research focused on shallow water moorings, the floating technology may even be an alternative to traditional bottom- founded technologies in intermediate water depths in the future, says ABS.