After Kincardine, Principle Power looks to Brittany

19 January 2022

Building on successful commissioning of the 50 MW Kincardine floating offshore wind farm in Scotland, Principle Power – developer of the WindFloat® semi-submersible platform – is working with ENGIE and EDP on a tender for a commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm to be located off the coast of Brittany

Ocean Winds (a joint venture between ENGIE and EDP Renewables) and Principle Power have entered into a collaboration agreement to cooperate on the design of the floating platforms for the South Brittany floating offshore wind project, France’s first commercial-scale floating wind tender, with an installed capacity of up to 270 MW.

In September 2021, the French government selected Ocean Winds to participate in what it calls a “competitive dialogue”, along with nine other prequalified bidders:

  • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners/Eni;
  • EDF/Maple Power; 
  • Elicio/BayWa;
  • Equinor;
  • Iberdrola;
  • RWE;
  • Shell/EnBW/Caisse des Dépôts;
  • TotalEnergies/Green Investment Group/Qair;
  • wpd/Vattenfall/BlueFloat Energy.

The winner is expected to be announced in 2022.

Ocean Winds and Principle Power have already successfully delivered the 25 MW WindFloat Atlantic project, currently operating in Portugal (“the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind farm”), and are working together on the 30 MW Éoliennes Flottantes du Golfe du Lion (EFGL) project off the French Mediterranean coast, due for commissioning in 2023.

Principle Power can also point to the successful deployment of its WindFloat® semisubmersible platforms at the 50 MW Kincardine Offshore Windfarm – “the world’s largest floating windfarm…now fully commissioned and delivering green electricity to Scotland’s grid.”

Located 15 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, in water depths ranging from 60 m to 80 m, the wind farm consists of five Vestas V164-9.5 MW and one V80-2 MW turbine, each installed on a WindFloat® platform. Blade tip height is 190 m, nominal voltage 33 kV and expected life “at least 25 years.”

Kincardine was started back in 2014 by Allan MacAskill (former petroleum engineer and director of Talisman’s Beatrice project) and Lord Nicol Stephen, now both directors of Flotation Energy plc. In 2016 Cobra Group became the main investor in Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd (KOWL).

Cobra Wind, a subsidiary of Cobra Group, was responsible for delivery of the project, including engineering, construction, installation and commissioning.

In addition to being the largest floating wind farm in the world, it also employs the highest capacity wind turbines ever installed on floating platforms.

Jaime Altolaguirre, KOWL project director, Cobra, said: “Kincardine offshore windfarm has shown that the largest and most advanced wind turbines available can be installed on floating platforms in the challenging North Sea environment.”

Aberdeen has been selected as the operations and maintenance base for the wind farm. A local team, managed by Cobra, will be responsible for day-to-day operations, using Scotland-based companies “with proven North Sea capabilities, drawing on their experience maintaining offshore semi submersibles and platforms over the last 50 years”, said Jaime Altolaguirre, “it could not be a better fit.”

With 75 MW of cumulative capacity in operation, and “exclusivity secured” to supply its WindFloat® semi-submersible floating platform to commercial-scale projects totalling some 4 GW, Principle Power sees itself as the market leader in floating wind technology. The US based company describes its floating platform as turbinetechnology agnostic.

Some key projects employing Principle Power’s WindFloat® technology Some key projects employing Principle Power’s WindFloat® technology
One of the six Kincardine floating turbines being towed to site One of the six Kincardine floating turbines being towed to site
Turbine at Kincardine site Turbine at Kincardine site

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