Portugal's first offshore wind turbine – a floating offshore turbine called the WindFloat Agucadoura – has been installed and certified.
ABS provided certification services for the design, fabrication and installation of the first WindFloat facility. The WindFloat Agucadoura unit is a Vestas 2 MW floating wind turbine moored in water depths of slightly less than 50 meters, 4 km offshore the northern coast of Portugal.
According to ABS, the WindFloat project is the first offshore wind deployment in the world that did not require heavy-lift equipment offshore. Final assembly and pre-commissioning took place in a controlled shoreside environment. This installation also is the first deployment of a semi-submersible structure supporting a commercial-sized wind turbine, ABS adds.
ABS design-review engineers in Houston and ABS surveyors on-site at the fabrication facilities in Portugal worked together with the developers and builders during the design, fabrication and installation phases of the project.
ABS certification of the semi-submersible and the mooring system was based on the applicable sections of ABS Offshore Rules and Guides and the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Offshore Wind Turbine Installations. The tower and the turbine were not part of the ABS certification.
The WindFloat is the result of the cooperative efforts of the partners that make up the WindPlus joint venture, an international group led by Portuguese power provider Energias de Portugal. Other Windplus joint-venture partners include Principle Power Inc., A. Silva Matos and InovCapital. Vestas Wind Systems provided its V-80 2 MW turbine for the project.
"Up until today, all offshore wind farms have been based on bottom-fixed foundations in water depths less than 30 meters," says Lars Samuelsson, ABS offshore account manager. "As we go deeper, floating offshore wind turbine foundations may become a cost-effective alternative."