The world’s first floating wind turbine has put Spain on the global map after generating 1kWh of power, marking a whole new milestone for X1 Wind. This wind turbine, built in Spain’s Canary Islands, has the potential significantly lower its environmental footprint while seamlessly coexisting with the sea as its natural habitat.
With the first key milestone successfully achieved, X1 Wind is expected to be exploring ways to blow out the project to a larger commercial scale. The wind turbine is also being celebrated for becoming the first deployable floating turbine bolstered by a tension leg platform – aka TLP. Experts say that TLP effectively decreases damage to sea floors.
X1 Wind’s X30 Prototype Combines Advantages of SPM and TLP Mooring Systems
The offshore platform, PLOCAN received its initial power supply via a subsea cable that spans 1.4 kilometers. The completion of this test and verification program marks the start of the final phase, which will be followed by technology scaling and certification for commercial-scale projects that are currently in production.
X1 Wind, the startup behind this groundbreaking wind turbine, integrated an X30 platform built to connect to a specifically designed V29 Vestas turbine in addition to an ABB power converter.
The SBM mooring design is exclusive and was formulated from the PivotBuoy project supported by the EU. It merges the benefits of both SPM and TLP mooring systems.
With the above specially made design, the floater can weathervane passively to maximize energy output. The electric power produced is transferred via a swivel to ensure all risks of the cable twisting are eliminated.
X1 Wind floating wind power turbine stands out for its limited footprint on the environment because it does not interfere with the sea floor in comparison to other existing floating offshore wind turbine designs built to sit on the catenary mooring lines.
The prototype’s biggest achievement according to the startup, is the minimal impact on the environment while ensuring a healthy coexistence with sea surroundings.
“First power represents a huge milestone for X1 Wind, and the ‘lift-off’ moment we’ve been building towards for many years. 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,” Carlos Casanovas, X1 Wind co-founder, and CTO said following the maiden kWh.
The next stage will see X1 Wind focus on scaling the floating wind turbine power generation project to a commercial scale of 15MW turbines deployed in deep-sea sites.
“Floating wind is set to play a vital role in supporting the future energy transition, global decarbonization, and ambitious net-zero targets. Today’s announcement marks another significant stride forward for X1 Wind accelerating towards certification and commercial scale ambitions to deliver 15MW platforms and beyond in deepwater sites around the globe,” the X1 Wind CTO added in his statement.
Our X30 floating wind prototype in Canary Island delivered its first kWh! The milestone marks the world’s only floating wind platform currently operating with a TLP mooring system and Spain's first floating wind platform to export electricity. pic.twitter.com/ewSemYbDt4
— X1Wind (@x1_wind) March 7, 2023
Alex Raventos, X1 Wind CEO and co-founder stressed that commercial plans are picking up the pace and will keep digressing toward leveraging key features of the PivotBouy prototype. Still, there is a need to de-risk the technology that is making the most out of renewable energy sources that do not harm the environment.
“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, Raventos said.
The CEO continued with his statement:
“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.”
It is worth mentioning that PivotBuoy’s goal is to significantly decrease the present expenses associated with generating electricity from floating wind sources through various benefits inherent in their system.
The PivotBuoy technology comes with a reduced floater weight, quicker and more economical installation procedures, and the ability to access deeper waters, all while limiting the seabed footprint using the TLP mooring system.
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