The floating platform, which measures 12 metres in diameter, 5.2 metres high and weighs some 70 tonnes, was installed off Saint-Vaast la Hougue (Manche) on January 11.
Nass&Wind Offshore engineers will observe and analyse the behaviour of the platform and the measurement instruments for six months, under the control of a firm of independent experts. The platform will then definitively depart the test site and will be used by Nass&Wind Offshore to accurately characterize the wind resources and sea conditions favourable for the installation of marine renewable energy generation units. These include: offshore bottom-mounted and floating wind turbines, tidal turbines, wave energy projects, etc.
The platform was designed based on a "lanby" initially used to mark the Ushant traffic separation scheme, a region well known for its difficult navigational conditions. It took a year to design and develop, including six months of restoration and improvements carried out by the Normandy shipyard Manche Industrie Marine (Dieppe). (Lorient) provided safety training to personnel for the installation and maintenance of the platform.
According to Romain Baronnet, deputy general manager of Nass&Wind Offshore, the goals of the platform are to: (1) collect accurate and reliable environmental data, which will help limit the technical and financial risks of proposed projects while reducing the cost of the electricity produced; and (2) establish partnerships with scientific institutes, university laboratories and environmental organisations interested in conducting experiments and collecting scientific and environmental data.
"The launch of this highly innovative floating measurement platform is a very important step in our development," Baronnet said. "Once testing is complete and the platform is certified, Nass&Wind Offshore will have a unique measurement system and will strengthen its position as a specialist in marine renewable energy."