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United States: Principle Power lands $43m funding double for WindFloat

Published at: Dec 14, 2012
source: Recharge News

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Floating wind turbine designer Principle Power has landed funding of about $43m thanks to back-to-back grants from the US Department of Energy (DoE) and the EU's NER300 technology development programme.

The company - which is currently testing its flagship 2MW WindFloat 1 semisubmersible unit off north Portugal for the EDP-led WindPlus group - was one of seven favoured in the DoE's $28m offshore wind funding round this week, receiving $4m to flesh out plans for a 30MW floating wind-farm off Oregon in the Pacific Ocean.

It followed up yesterday with a €30m ($39.2m) NER300 windfall to be put toward building a 27MW array off Portugal.

"The WindFloat reduces levelised energy costs, eliminates many installation/environmental risks, and accesses much more robust wind resources, leading to a reduction in the cost of energy," says Principle Power chief executive Alla Weinstein. "We are creating the future of the offshore wind industry."

For the US project - which would be the first floating wind farm off the US west coast - Principle Power will partner with Siemens, Houston Offshore Engineering, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, MacArtney Underwater Technology, RPS Evan Hamilton, Herrera Environmental, Forristall Ocean Engineering, the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas.

In Portugal, WindPlus - a consortium made up of EDP, Vestas, Repsol, Principle Power, A. Silva Matos and InovCapital - has seen the WF1, which is equipped with a Vestas V80, cross the 3MWh generation milestone a year after installation.

The WindFloat semisubmersible, a three-legged triangular pontoon structure stabilised by being moored partly-submerged in the water, is designed for depths greater than 50 metres.

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