Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Dominique Roddier, Ph.D.

Marine Innovation and Technology

WindFloat: a Floating Foundation for Offshore Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

Wednesday -March 11, 2009

Pacific Forum –12:30 p.m.

This presentation will summarize the feasibility studies conducted for the WindFloat technology. The WindFloat is a 3-legged floating foundation for very large offshore wind turbines. It is designed to fit an existing turbine, 5 MW or larger, on one of the columns of the hull with minimal modifications to the tower, nacelle and turbine.

It is agreed by most experts that the offshore wind industry will see a significant increase in activity in the near future. Fixed offshore turbines are limited in water depth to around 30~50m. The move to deeper waters is very likely, provided suitable technologies can be developed. Despite the increase in complexity, a floating foundation offers distinct advantages:

  • Flexibility in site location
  • Better wind resources further offshore
  • Target coastal regions with limited shallow continental shelf
  • Ability to locate at least 10 miles offshore to eliminate visual pollution
  • An integrated structure, without a need to redesign the mast foundation connection for every project
  • Simplified offshore installation procedures. Anchors are significantly cheaper to install than fixed foundations and large diameter towers
The presentation will encompass the results of three papers to be presented at the next International Conference on Offshore, Ocean and Arctic Engineering (OMAE 2009) in Hawaii, May 09, and will also focus on the three main projects under development. In the US, Oregon and Maine. (a MOU was signed with Tillamook Utilities in November) and in Portugal (MOU with EDP last month) where the pilot project is scheduled for deployment Summer 2011.


Next: March 18 - Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D.