ABS classifies the first floating wind farm for technological development

Three turbines from WindFloat Atlantic became the first to receive the ABS class (photo Dock90 courtesy of ABS)

Posted on Jul 15, 2021 4:29 PM by

The maritime executive

In what is considered a significant step forward in the development of floating offshore wind farms, the WindFloat Atlantic project located off the coast of Portugal became the first offshore wind farm in the world to achieve class certification. The ABS class committee accepted three floating turbines from the projects, which is the first larger-scale floating wind farm in continental Europe.

“This is a historic first and, in our opinion, the first of many to come,” said Matt Tremblay, senior vice president of ABS, Global Offshore. “It highlights the potential of the class and industry to work together for the safe adoption of new technologies. ABS has supported innovation in offshore energy and this landmark project highlights how we continue to support promising offshore technology ”

ABS noted that it worked closely with the project through all phases of its development. Classroom acceptance is the final step in a process that began with the launch of the first on-site demonstration platform in 2011. ABS supported the development of the 2 MW WindFloat 1 which was connected to the grid. electric in December 2011 and made a significant contribution both to this project and to the development of floating offshore wind in Portugal.

The WindFloat project has developed new technology for installing offshore wind turbines at depths of over 130 feet. The project has developed a floating foundation, based on experiences from the oil and gas industry, to support multi-MW wind turbines in offshore applications. The floating foundation is semi-submersible, anchored to the seabed. Its stability is due to the use of “water trapping plates” at the bottom of the three pillars, associated with a static and dynamic ballast system.

“The WindFloat Atlantic project is once again showing its technological reliability,” said Jose Pinheiro, national director of the Southern Europe BU at Ocean Winds. “Obtaining the formal ABS classification for the three floating platforms is therefore an important step for the shareholders of the project and also for the offshore floating wind industry. “

The three 8.4 MW floating turbines classified by ABS are SEMI submersible type units designed by Principle Power housing MHI Vestas turbines for a total of 25 MW of offshore floating wind power. Located approximately 12 miles offshore coasts of Viana do Castello, Portugal, the project was developed in several phases as a prototype for the floating offshore wind sector. The installation of the first Windfloat Atlantic turbine on its floating platform took place in July 2019, in Spain, making it the largest turbine ever installed on a floating platform. The first turbine was connected to the electricity grid at the end of the year, and the third turbine was moved to the site in May 2020.

The WindFloat Atlantic project was developed by the Windplus consortium, which is jointly owned by Ocean Winds. It is a joint venture between EDP Renewables and ENGIE, as well as Repsol and Principle Power.

According to project managers, floating foundations mean that offshore wind farms are not subject to the same depth restrictions as fixed structures and can be at any depth. With the development of larger turbines above 10 MW and research focused on shallow water moorings, floating technology could be an alternative in the future to traditional fixed-bottom technologies in intermediate water depths.

ABS is the leading classification organization for floating offshore wind and continues to lead the development of design standards and concepts for offshore floating wind turbine foundations. ABS certified the first commercial-size semi-submersible floating offshore wind turbine and published the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Wind Installations in 2013. ABS was also the first class company to venture out to sea, certifying the World’s first mobile offshore drilling unit in 1958 and classing the first jack-up, semi-submersible, drillship, FPSO, TLP and spar.