Major challenges successfully overcome for WindFloat Atlantic

28 May 2020

Key milestones of the world’s second large-scale floating off-shore wind farm are pioneering moments and Tractebel’s goal-driven approach has helped make the innovation a reality.

Buoying up spirits, the last of 3 floating platforms with 8.4MW offshore wind turbine, destined for revolutionary floating offshore wind farm - WindFloat Atlantic, has been completed in the port of Ferrol, Spain, and has been towed from harbour, without need of specialised vessels, now on its way to join the 2 other turbines at the offshore wind farm site.

With the first 2 floating wind turbines of the project already installed offshore, 20km off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal, the offshore mooring of the floating platforms and their connection to the onshore Portuguese grid are yet other important breakthroughs in this innovative project.

Developed and realised by WindPlus, a consortium with EDP Renewables, ENGIE, Repsol and Principle Power as shareholders, this project has materialised the floating of the largest commercially available offshore wind turbine on semi-submersible floating platforms; something never done before. What’s more, it is also the first floating wind farm which is project-financed. 

For the Tractebel ENGIE team which has been working on the project for the last 5 years and has been fully engaged in the final construction phase of all 3 floating wind turbines, it’s also a long awaited pioneering moment. “The realisation of these floating wind turbines is particularly exciting,” says Cédric Dewandre, Wind Turbine Installation Manager, “The dedication of the team, our innovation mind-set and ability to build beyond known knowhow on a unique construction venture, have been key to the success of this tide-turning project. I’m particularly proud of the Tractebel ENGIE team and experts for bringing such deep and wide expertise from a great variety of fields, as well as their ability to capitalise and develop new applications together with the client. The construction of this floating wind farm and related innovative offshore works  represent a big step forward for floating offshore wind as it proves that large-scale floating offshore wind power is possible.”

Filip Meuleman, Technical Director of WindPlus, highlights the added value of Tractebel’s input: “Apart from the professional organisation and coordination of the wind turbine assembly works, Tractebel ENGIE has proven to be exactly the skilled and pragmatic partner a project like this needed. By bringing their technical and HSE expertise to this first-of-a-kind project, we managed to get the job done and conquer all challenges, with exemplary HSE performance. On top of this, amongst others, their expertise on electrical and high voltage systems, on welding and coating matters and their offshore engineering expertise in general has been of valuable help throughout the WindFloat Atlantic project development and its execution.”

The realisation of this project is also a key milestone with regards to Tractebel ENGIE’s other ambitions in floating offshore wind. Being one of the rare consultancy firms with such hands-on experience, Tractebel ENGIE is also deeply involved in the Dolphyn project developed by ERM which aims to produce hydrogen from floating offshore wind and is discussing several other assignments.

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