Installed off the coast of Atlantic France, the floating wind demonstrator Floatgen is connected to the French national electric grid. The turbine has produced a total of 6 GWh in 2019 and surpassed expectations in the second half of the year.
Floatgen was installed 22 km off the coast of Le Croisic (Atlantic France) on the Sem-Rev offshore test site, where the sea is 33 meters deep. The first French offshore wind turbine is weighted with Ideol’s “damping pool”, a 5,000 tonne floating concrete foundation, and is designed to cover the electric energy consumption of around 5,000 people.
The 2MW demonstrator sent its first kWh to the power grid in September 2018. During the first six months of 2019 it generated 2,2GWh, but then the production doubled to reach 6 GWh by the end of the year, surpassing expectations.
Great performance in harsh conditions
This first complete year is extremely encouraging. Floatgen remained fully operational throughout the winter months, even though it was facing extreme conditions (5.5 meters of significant wave height and up to 24.2 m/s of wind speed). In the second semester, the wind turbine time availability exceeded 94.6%.
The patented foundation from the French company Ideol was a key factor in its performance. Floatgen generated 70% more power than the same offshore wind turbine coupled with an American foundation located in Portugal. Ideol’s foundation is also being tested in Japan and successfully faced three typhoons over the last months.
Floatgen demonstrator is confirming that floating wind technology is now advanced enough for commercial deployment and several calls for tenders are expected soon in France, Scotland and Japan.
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Atlantic France, a marine renewables pioneer
The first French offshore wind farm will be located in Atlantic France, off Saint-Nazaire coast. Planned to be in service by 2022, it will be composed of 80 GE Haliade 150-6MW fixed-foundation turbines.