The construction of Floatgen is officially underway

Friday, 17 June, 2016 - 13:15
 Floatgen is the first wind turbine equipped with a floating foundation to be installed off the French coast (Graphic: Floatgen)
Floatgen is the first wind turbine equipped with a floating foundation to be installed off the French coast (Graphic: Floatgen)

Equipped with a ring-shaped floating foundation developed and patented by the French expert Ideol, and built by Bouygues Travaux Publics in Saint-Nazaire Port, France’s first offshore wind turbine will be installed on the Centrale Nantes offshore test site, SEM-REV, off the coast from Le Croisic.

The construction of Floatgen was officially launched at a contract-signing ceremony attended by Ideol, Centrale Nantes and Bouygues Travaux Publics on the side-lines of the annual Renewable Marine Energies conference.

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of floating-wind turbines, in order to expand the development potential of offshore wind farms into more windy and deeper waters that are not currently commercially viable and demonstrate potential in decrease of costs for electricity generation.

Construction will get off the ground in September in Saint-Nazaire Port, where Bouygues Travaux Publics will build the floating foundation, mobilising 80 workers on site. At the conclusion of the six-month construction phase, the wind turbine will be fixed into position, quayside, on its foundation. The whole assembly will be subsequently towed out from the Le Croisic coast to the installation site, SEM-REV, the world’s first multi-technology offshore test site connected to the grid, owned by Centrale Nantes and run jointly with the National Center for Scientific Research. Once on site, the wind turbine will be connected to the anchoring system and the electricity export cable.

Backing from seven European partners

The Floatgen project began in 2013 and is backed by a European consortium of seven companies and research bodies: Ideol (design and provision of the floating system), Centrale Nantes (ocean engineering expertise and access to its offshore test site), Bouygues Travaux Publics (floating foundation construction), University of Stuttgart (participation in the study phase simulation) RSK Group (environmental impact analysis), ZABALA (project management) and Fraunhofer IWES (comparative analysis of the different floating solutions). It is supported by the European Union as part of the FP7 programme, by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency as part of the national Investments for the Future Programme, and by the Pays de la Loire region.

Ideol’s CEO, Paul de la Guérivière commented: “Floatgen is an essential step for the company culminating in the offshore launch of the first unit of our technology, but it’s also a key moment for France and Europe which have the opportunity to become world leaders in this emerging market”.

Benoit Lange, Commercial Director of Bouygues Travaux Publics, added: “Our involvement in the Floatgen project demonstrates the company’s willingness to apply its large track record in marine infrastructures delivery, in France and abroad, to the Marine Renewables Energy. Concrete floater construction, when implemented at an industrial scale, will be a competitive solution for offshore wind in the coming years.”

Silke Funke / Ideol



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