World's First Floating Wind Turbine Launched
Blue H Technologies BV has just launched the first ever large scale prototype Submerged Deepwater Platform (SDP) which will be soon anchored in 108 metres at a distance of 10.6 nautical miles from the coast in Southern Italy.
The offshore market is regarded by most experts as the future of wind energy.
According to reliable predictions offshore will represent 50% of the installed capacity by 2030. As a matter of fact, offshore wind farms benefit from stronger and less turbulent winds and can avoid logistic constraints due to problems of transportation of the turbines and their blades, as well as address to a large degree the concerns of visual impact of onshore wind farms.
However, with the commercially available technology today, which requires wind turbine foundations to be installed into the seabed on mono-piles or jackets or tripods, the costs of installation grows dramatically as the depth of water increases, limiting potential offshore sites to areas less than 50 meters in depth, something which restricts greatly the potential available areas to construct wind farms
In contrast Blue H has developed a new solution by adapting the concept of submerged tension-legged platforms developed by the oil industry for some of its offshore rigs, and designed a platform large and stable enough to support a tower and a wind turbine.
As explained by Martin Jakubowski, the inventor of SDP technology and author of other Blue H patent applications, this innovative technology reduces significantly the overall weight of the structure, a huge element in the cost component of offshore wind units; it can be assembled onshore and then towed out far offshore, at distances of 10 nautical miles or more and positioned in deep waters (50 meters or more in depth); it allows a localization far enough from the coast to benefit from stronger and more regular winds (thus reducing the cost per kWh), to overcome frequent environmentalist objections to on-shore farms and to address a fundamental problem of the wind energy industry today, that of being able to deploy larger and larger turbines; is more environmentally friendly because it's easier to dismantle with no leftover.
For all these reasons, Blue H provides a cost effective solution for the installation of offshore wind energy converters in deep waters. 'Blue H intends to demonstrate that deepwater offshore wind farms can be built economically and certainly at a cost which is extremely competitive to the shallow water wind farms of today' said Neal Bastick, CEO of Blue H.
Blue H Skysaver Srl is developing Blue H's first offshore wind farm off the coast of Puglia in Southern Italy. In January 2007 Blue H Skysaver obtained the final authorizations to install its large scale prototype in the water and has now has applied for the required authorizations to build a 90MW Wind Energy Park in the same area, 20 kilometers from the coast in waters 100 ' 120 meters in depth. The project has a strong support of the Regional Government of Puglia and the local population.
Source: Press Release from www.bluehgroup.com
Article Date: 28 July 2008
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