Energies Marines
Floatgen FOW demonstrator launched

Actualité

Floatgen FOW demonstrator launched

Energies Marines

The first floating offshore wind (FOW) turbine built in France was launched at Saint-Nazaire on 13 October just 15 months after construction began. The project, beginning with the turbine, tower and floating foundation, are being funded by the European Commission. This coming winter, the demonstrator will be towed to the SEM-REV test site off Le Croisic between Nantes and Lorient in Brittany. There, it will then be connected to the French power grid for a two-year test period to validate the design concept and technologies and measure performance under real-world conditions.

 

(© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

(© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

Solo round-the-world sailor Catherine Chabot launches the Floatgen demonstrator (© Floatgen)

Solo round-the-world sailor Catherine Chabot launches the Floatgen demonstrator (© Floatgen)

(© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

(© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

 

Advantages of FOW over BFOW

“Bottom-fixed offshore wind (BFOW) farms count some 3,600 turbines now in service worldwide, nearly all of them in northern European waters. The technology is, however, limited to sites with a water depth of 40 metres or less. Today, a large proportion of the most suitable sites are operational or in the development pipeline. Floating offshore wind farms are the new frontier in that they can be set up in waters of any depth. FOW opens up the market for offshore wind energy to all maritime countries instead of the few, mostly in northern Europe, with large expanses of shallow water. FOW technologies also make better use of wind resources, the best being typically farther out to sea. Sites for FOW farms that are farther from the coast also overcome issues like visual impact and conflict of use with the fishing industry and others. On the engineering front, one of the chief advantages of FOW over BFOW is that nearly all the construction work can be performed ashore. FOW turbines can be installed without the need for costly dedicated installation vessels that have to be booked well in advance and only operate in fair weather. FOW technologies offer lower costs and risks while at the same time improving offshore wind energy’s social acceptability,” says Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Floatgen partner Ideol.

 

Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Ideol (© Ideol)

Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Ideol (© Ideol)

 

Ideol’s innovative floating foundation

Ideol designed the Floatgen project’s floating foundation. The company, set up in 2010 and currently employing 65 people, is based at La Ciotat near Marseille. The foundation is a square ring-shaped platform enclosing a ‘damping pool’, a breakthrough concept paten