X1 Wind’s floating platform has been successfully installed at the PLOCAN test site in the Canary Islands.
As summer trade-winds abated, a suitable weather window allowed X1 Wind and partners from the EU-backed PivotBuoy Project to complete the installation process, connecting the fully-functional floating wind prototype to the mooring system and dynamic cable pre-installed last June.
X1 Wind Operations Manager Jorge Casanovas said operations will soon commence collecting valuable data to validate performance in open ocean conditions for the first time.
“As installation work comes to a close another exciting chapter begins for X1 Wind as we prepare for operations to deliver first power to the PLOCAN smartgrid,” he said. “This is the result of a massive team effort, and we would like to extend our appreciation to all project partners and local suppliers who have supported so diligently throughout the build and installation process. We are especially thankful to those partners and suppliers that have played an instrumental role in the final installation phase, developing a ground-breaking mooring, connection and installation solution for our X30 prototype. Now successfully installed, we will begin monitoring the platform in real-time with multiple sensors integrated within our in-house SCADA system.”
The X30 platform has been developed with key design features to streamline the installation process, including a light-weight and stable floater which can be wet towed by local vessels. The PivotBuoy Project focuses on demonstrating a mooring system configuration that combines the advantages of a SPM (single point mooring) with a small TLP (Tension-Leg Platform) mooring system, allowing the ability to reach deeper waters and minimizing the footprint and impact on the seabed.
Fitted with a Vestas V29 turbine, the 1:3 scale prototype has been stationed at a 50m water depth in a downwind configuration, creating a passive weather-vane effect that eliminates the need of an active yaw system. The scalability of X1 Wind’s technology will enable the firm to provide platforms for the 15MW scale turbines and beyond and to deploy them at very deep sites.
“This is a key milestone for our company and for the floating wind sector in general being able to install a floating wind platform using a TLP mooring system and requiring only small vessels. This reduces not only the costs but also the impact on the seabed. Data obtained from the X30 will contribute to de-risk the technology, improve the design, and obtain the certification of our commercial-scale platforms in preparation for upcoming tenders in Spain and other countries worldwide,” X1 Wind CEO and co-founder Alex Raventos said.
After completing the installation, the PivotBuoy project will be tested in fully operational conditions until March 2023, feeding the electricity produced to PLOCAN’s smartgrid, after it has been commissioned.
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