X1 Wind getting ready to deploy prototype floater in Canary Islands
X1 Wind's new floating wind platform. Source: X1 Wind
Barcelona-based startup X1 Wind has successfully concluded the assembly and load-out of a fully-functional prototype of its PivotBuoy floating wind platform and is now getting ready to deploy the technology in the Canary Islands.
The place of deployment is a test site at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), where the platform will have full exposure to open ocean conditions. The 1:3 scale prototype (X30), which is fitted with a Vestas V29 turbine, will be stationed at a 50-metre water depth through a single point mooring system in a downwind configuration.
The X30 prototype is the result of the EUR-4-million (USD 4.8m) PivotBuoy Project awarded under the European Commission H2020 programme. The consortium behind the project includes EDP NEW, DNV, Intecsea Inc, ESM and Degima, and is supported by the research centres WavEC, PLOCAN and DTU. Their objective is to cut the current Levelised Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) of floating wind power substantially by developing a system with a reduced floater weight, a faster and cheaper installation process and a more reliable operation.
“Portside testing of all subsystems will be performed over the coming weeks, before PivotBuoy is installed in the PLOCAN test site and connected via a dynamic 20kV cable, later progressing to the commissioning phase - the timing of which will be determined by environmental conditions,” said Carlos Casanovas, co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of X1 Wind.
According to Casanovas, this particular technology requires less steel during fabrication and a significantly smaller footprint on the ocean floor when compared to catenary systems. Its scalability, on the other hand, facilitates the transition to 15-MW mega-turbines that operate at depths of more than 500 metres.
In turn, co-founder and CEO Alex Raventos said the following: “We have a clear trajectory with funding secured to design and certify our technology at full-scale. This will allow us to move swiftly in the short term through the pre-commercial phase.”