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Renewable Vibes > News > Renewable Energy > The world’s initial semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm surpasses predictions despite encountering severe storms.

The world’s initial semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm surpasses predictions despite encountering severe storms.

WindFloat Atlantic, the world’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm, has been operating for three years and continues to achieve record-breaking power output. In 2023, the project generated 80 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, surpassing the previous year’s output of 78 GWh. This amount of power is sufficient to supply energy to over 25,000 households and avoids the emission of 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Located 20 km off the coast of Portugal in the municipality of Viana do Castelo, north of Porto, WindFloat Atlantic consists of three 8.4 MW Vestas wind turbines mounted on semi-submersible, three-column floating platforms. These platforms are anchored by chains to the seabed, and a 20 km long cable connects the wind farm to an onshore substation.

The project is a collaboration between Spanish renewable company EDPR, global energy firm ENGIE, Spanish energy firm Repsol, and California-headquartered floating offshore wind firm Principle Power.

WindFloat Atlantic was connected to the grid in late 2019 and commissioned in 2020. The wind farm has an operations and maintenance base in the port of Viana do Castelo, where the team receives real-time information about the wind farm’s performance, enabling them to address any issues promptly. Onsite maintenance can be challenging due to the adverse weather and sea conditions in the area.

Despite facing Storm Ciarán, which caused significant damage across Europe at the end of October and beginning of November last year, WindFloat Atlantic proved to be resilient. The floating wind farm withstood wave heights of 20 meters (66 feet) and wind gusts of up to 139 km/hr (86 mph) thanks to its robust design.

Principle Power, the company involved in the development of WindFloat Atlantic and Scotland’s Kincardine, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, highlights the unique features of semi-submersible floating offshore wind technology. The WindFloat platform offers exceptional stability performance, reduces structural weight, and simplifies logistics during installation and operation. It enables the use of existing commercial offshore wind turbines, located at one of the columns, with only minor modifications to control software.

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