Approval was granted last week for a wider scheme which intends to support demonstration projects for ocean and offshore wind technologies. The 25 MW “WindFloat project” is the first recipient of the scheme’s support, with the remaining 25 MW included in the scheme’s development to be awarded to winning proposals.
The European Commission found that the projects under the scheme would “contribute to increasing Portugal’s share of renewable energy by developing new generation technologies.” Furthermore, the affiliated feed-in tariff is “proportionate to the objective pursued,” allowing the Commission to conclude that both “the support scheme and the WindFloat project were in line with its Guidelines.”
“The development of new renewable technologies is crucial to help Europe meet its environmental commitments. Today’s approved scheme is an important step for bringing new technologies to the market,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.
WindFloat will test “in real operating conditions” the idea of floating wind turbines, and their usefulness to the region. Floating wind turbines have received a lot of attention, primarily for their ability to be deployed in much deeper waters than is feasible for traditional offshore wind farms which require columns affixed to the seafloor.
This won’t be the first time a WindFloat has been deployed off the Portuguese coast, following a 2012 announcement, which marked the first time an offshore wind turbine was deployed in Portugal, as well as being “the first offshore wind turbine to be installed without the use of any heavy lift vessels or piling equipment at sea,” according to Principle Power, the developer of WindFloat.