Renewables: FARWIND Energy develops remotely operable energy ships

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FARWIND Energy, a startup from Nantes, has invented an innovative sailing ship to capture far-offshore wind and deliver the energy produced by storing electricity in batteries or converting it into green e-fuels.

On the one hand, offshore wind turbines are installed near the coasts where they cause the most nuisance for the inhabitants and where the winds are not the strongest. On the other hand, powering islands, offshore installations and ports can also be a challenge.

To tackle these issues, three engineers from Atlantic France created FARWIND Energy in July 2020. The company is a spin-off of Centrale Nantes which is one of the world-leading universities in marine renewable energy research. 

A versatile solution to produce and deliver renewable energy

Far-offshore wind energy is the second greatest renewable energy source. To capture it, FARWIND Energy has designed an 80 metre long and 25 metre wide remotely operable sailing ship which is equipped with two water turbines to generate electricity, in the same way as a bottle dynamo on a bicycle.

The electricity can be stored in batteries or transformed onboard into green e-fuels such as hydrogen, methanol and ammonia. The energy can then be delivered to the end users every day for electric solutions and every week for e-fuels.

A significant development potential

The innovative solution developed by FARWIND Energy has hold the interest of many players such as industrials, electricity producers and ports, both in metropolitan France and overseas. The startup is working in particular in the French Caribbean, where about 75% of the electricity is produced from fossil fuels; using just one FARWIND Energy ship could avoid 6,000 tonnes of CO2 being emitted per year.

Winner of a French Tech grant, FARWIND Energy raised €2 million in November 2021. The company is supported by the innovation cluster Atlanpole, French public investment bank Bpifrance and the economic development subsidiary Airbus Développement. The first ship is expected to be commissioned in 2024.

Farwind Energy technology

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