X1 Wind’s X30 floating wind prototype, installed in the Canary Islands, has successfully produced its first kWh.
The milestone marks the world’s only floating wind platform installed with a TLP mooring system, which reduces environmental footprint and improves compatibility with other sea uses. It further heralds Spain’s first floating wind prototype to export electricity via a subsea cable.
First power was fed into PLOCAN’s offshore platform smartgrid via a 1.4-kilometer underwater cable connected to a 20kV transformer. Local teams now enter the last phase of a test and verification program that started with the platform installation in November 2022, in preparation of the technology industrialization and certification for commercial scale projects now under development.
“First power represents a huge milestone for X1 Wind, and the ‘lift-off’ moment we’ve been building towards for many years,” said Carlos Casanovas, X1 Wind CTO and co-founder. “The first kWh is always a symbolic moment for any new energy generation project, and for our team, partners, and supporters, it crystalizes the immense journey we’ve been on and the exciting path which lies ahead. Floating wind is set to play a vital role supporting the future energy transition, global decarbonization, and ambitious net-zero targets. (The) announcement marks another significant stride forward for X1 Wind accelerating towards certification and commercial scale ambitions to deliver 15MW platforms and beyond in deep-water sites around the globe.”
The X30 platform is equipped with an adapted V29 Vestas turbine and ABB power converter. Another key design feature, developed through the EU-backed PivotBuoy Project, combines advantages of SPM and TLP mooring systems. The proprietary SPM design enables the floater to “weathervane” passively and maximize energy yields, with an electrical swivel ensuring electricity transfer without cable twisting. The TLP mooring system also reduces the seabed footprint, compared to traditional designs proposing catenary mooring lines.
“Now generating power, we’ve commenced a second phase to assess the floater behavior during operation,” said X1 Wind’s Electrical Engineering Manager Adrian Oliva. “This all forms part of X1 Wind’s extensive testing verification program to fully validate the platform in real world operational conditions and de-risk our technology. The novel X30 platform is equipped with all the electrical systems that the commercial platforms will contain, including a commercial turbine, power converter, transformer, slip-ring and dynamic cable as well as our in-house SCADA system with multiple sensors to control and monitor the platform’s behavior. All this data is being fed into our commercial scale design which is advancing fast working closely with certification body DNV.”
“This marks a significant milestone for the Spanish floating wind industry,” said Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) CEO Dr. José Hernéndez Brito.
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