Offshore Wind: Principle Power announces partners for Pacific WindFloat project

Renewable energy technology developer, Principle Power - awarded a Department of Energy grant worth $4M and up to $47M in total funding to support its WindFloat Pacific Demonstration Project. - has announced its list of official project partners.

The list of partners for the WindFloat Pacific Demonstration Project include: Siemens Wind PowerMacArtney Underwater Technology, 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 centred around a 30MW floating offshore wind farm, planned to be located approximately 25 kilometres west of Oregon’s Port of Coos Bay. Based on a patented floating foundation for offshore wind turbines, the 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, the firm says, 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 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.

According to Alla Weinstein, CEO of Principle Power, "the WindFloat eliminates many installation and environmental risks, while offering access to more robust wind resources, resulting in a reduction in the cost of energy".

A more elaborate scope of work for the Principle Power project, as well as the scope of involvement by the project partners, will be finalised in the coming months.

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