Berkeley, Calif.-based Principle Power and Netherlands-based KIC InnoEnergy have announced a new partnership, which includes a EUR 4 million investment from KIC InnoEnergy in the California company’s “WindFloat – Path to Commercialization” project.
The partnership encompasses advanced technology development and commercialization, including engineering, third-party analysis and certification, and business development and dissemination.
The project is scheduled to conclude in 2018, following a multiyear, multidisciplinary program. A key area of focus for the project will be to further reduce the levelized cost of energy in offshore wind asset delivery in order to ensure Principle Power and the WindFloat technology are in line with global price targets for commercial offshore wind projects, the companies explain.
In addition, the partnership leverages significant investments in complementary project development activities as part of the WindFloat Atlantic (WFA) project in Portugal. The 25 MW WFA project is scheduled for installation in late 2018 or 2019 and is backed by a consortium of energy and industrial players, including EDP Renewables, Trust Wind, Chiyoda Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Repsol.
According to the companies, the WindFloat concept allows offshore wind turbines to be assembled and commissioned entirely onshore. The fully assembled foundations and turbines can then be towed to an offshore wind farm site by tug vessel.
In turn, the companies explain, projects are not subject to weather constraints and associated costs or delays that can affect conventional offshore wind farm developments. The WindFloat concept also means that individual turbines can be returned back to shore for major repairs and maintenance.