Seattle, WA, February 18th, 2011 – Principle Power, Inc. (Principle Power), Energias de Portugal (EDP), and InovCapital - Sociedade de Capital de Risco, SA have signed a project agreement and turnkey contract for the deployment of a full-scale 2-megawatt (MW) WindFloat off the coast of Portugal. Project partners include Principle Power, EDP, InovCapital, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, A. Silva Matos (ASM), and Fundo de Apoio à Inovação (FAI).
WindFloat is a patented floating support structure for offshore wind turbines with a simple and economic design. Innovative features of the WindFloat dampen wave and turbine induced motion, enabling offshore wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 50m and wind resources are superior.
The project calls for Principle Power to deploy a full-scale WindFloat, with a Vestas V80-2.0MW offshore wind turbine, off the Portuguese coast in 2011. The system will be tested in Aguçadoura – an EDP grid connected site - for no less than 12 months, with a focus on performance validation of the WindFloat and turbine integration. In addition, commissioning/decommissioning and O&M studies will be conducted.
The project will make use of existing Portuguese industrial capacity and skilled labor for a majority of the fabrication and installation activities. Principle Power will carry full responsibility for project execution. Vestas will be delivering, installing and commissioning a Vestas V80-2.0MW wind turbine for the project. Turbine delivery will take place in 2011. Moreover, Vestas will be the technology reference for the project, supporting the integration of the wind turbine and the WindFloat platform.
Major subcontractors for the project have been chosen and include ASM and MPG, Marine Innovation & Technology, Houston Offshore Engineering, Bourbon Offshore, Smith Berger Marine, Vryhof, and Solidal. The American Bureau of Shipping has been selected as an independent certification agency.
Project funding has been secured through contributions from project partners and a non-refundable grant from Fundo de Apoio à Inovação (FAI).
"EDP has selected offshore wind energy as one of its five innovation priorities and the WindFloat is one of the most promising technologies in this area. Pending results of this key demonstration stage, EDP will be better positioned to tackle offshore wind challenges worldwide," asserted António Mexia, CEO of EDP.
João Fernandes, InovCapital's Board Member, "believes that the WindFloat Project has the potential to change the way Portugal takes advantage of its sea coast, given its innovative technology in wind energy and the engagement of all local and international partners."
"We at Principle Power welcome EDP as an early adopter of this enabling technology. We see the Portuguese Government and industry as partners in the development of offshore wind technologies capable of meeting Portuguese and worldwide demand for renewable energy," said Alla Weinstein, President & CEO of Principle Power. "All of the industrial skills and facilities needed to execute the project are available in Portugal including a utility, with a vision of promoting economic growth within its own borders. This project is a significant step forward for Portugal in using its vast offshore wind potential to meet renewable energy goals."
Anders Søe-Jensen, President Vestas Offshore explained: "At Vestas, we are continuously looking into different solutions and materials that will bring even more value to our customers in future offshore wind power plants. In that respect, floating foundations are one of the solutions with potential for harvesting wind in deeper water offshore sites."
Juan Araluce, President, Vestas Mediterranean, concluded: "We are very pleased to announce this cooperation with Principle Power and the EDP Group, one of our global key accounts. This is a groundbreaking project in the Mediterranean region. Its outcome could facilitate the implementation of best practices in the region and other places around the world."
About Principle Power
Principle Power is a technology developer focused on the offshore wind energy market. Principle Power's enabling product, a floating wind turbine support structure called WindFloat, provides for siting of offshore wind turbines in water depths greater than 50m, thus exploiting the world's highest capacity wind resources. Offshore wind installations in these water depths have not been feasible, to date, due to economic and technological limitations.
EDP is one of the major European energy utilities, with electricity generation, distribution and commercialization activities in Portugal, Spain and Brazil. The Group is also involved in the natural gas sector in Portugal and Spain. Through EDP Renewables, EDP is the world's third largest wind-energy producer and has significant activities in Europe, the US and Brazil.
InovCapital is the Portuguese Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Development venture capital firm, geared towards supporting SME and entrepreneurs. Its mission is to contribute to the supported growth of the Portuguese Economy through the promotion of entrepreneurship and a proactive participation in the development of Portuguese companies.
Vestas is a global company with more than 30 years of expertise and know-how in the field of wind power. With an installed base of more than 44,100 turbines or 43,400 MW around the globe, Vestas is the world's leading and most committed supplier of wind power solutions.
ASM Group is a Portuguese industrial group of companies, established in 1980, focused on metalworking construction such as wind towers, all types of pressurized and atmospheric vessels for GPL, GNL and liquid combustibles, reactors and heat exchangers. Through ASM Energia, the group is positioned as one of the major industrial players on metal structures and equipment's for renewable energy systems, both onshore and offshore.