Spanish Firm X1 Wind Installs Floating Wind Platform in Canary Islands

Barcelona-based floating wind technology developer X1 Wind said Friday its floating platform had been successfully installed at the PLOCAN test site in the Canary Islands.

“As summer trade-winds abated, a suitable weather window allowed X1 Wind and partners from the EU-backed PivotBuoy Project to complete the installation process, connecting the fully-functional floating wind prototype to the mooring system and dynamic cable pre-installed last June,” the company said.

Jorge Casanovas, who is in charge of operations for X1 Wind, said that operations would soon start gathering important data to test performance for the first time in open ocean conditions.

“As installation work comes to a close another exciting chapter begins for X1 Wind as we prepare for operations to deliver first power to the PLOCAN smartgrid,” he said.

According to X1 Wind, the X30 platform has been developed with several key design features to streamline the installation process, including a light-weight and stable floater which can be easily wet towed by local vessels.

“The PivotBuoy Project focuses on demonstrating an innovative mooring system configuration that combines the advantages of a SPM (single point mooring) with a small TLP (Tension-Leg Platform) mooring system, allowing the ability to reach deeper waters and minimizing the footprint and impact on the seabed,” X1 said.

Fitted with a Vestas V29 turbine, the 1:3 scale prototype has been stationed at a 50m water depth in a downwind configuration, creating a passive ‘weathervaning’ effect that eliminates the need of an active yaw system. The scalability of X1 Wind’s technology will enable the firm to provide platforms for the 15MW-scale turbines and beyond and to deploy them at very deep sites, the company said.

The PivotBuoy project will be tested in fully operational conditions until March 2023, feeding the electricity produced to PLOCAN’s smartgrid, after it has been commissioned.

The PivotBuoy Project is backed by a €4million grant from the European Commission H2020 Program. Led by X1 Wind the consortium includes leading companies EDP NEW, DNV, INTECSEA, ESM and DEGIMA and research centers WavEC, DTU and PLOCAN.

Executive Board Member of EDP NEW, João Maciel said: “The world is facing unprecedented challenges. Decarbonization through renewable generation will be key. The oceans and the sustainable exploration of offshore renewables are paramount for a greener, decarbonized world. Floating offshore wind has been slowly but steadily showing it is a growth avenue for renewables and promising technologies such as X1 Wind’s are the cornerstone for the grand challenge – to accelerate competitiveness of the sector. And we love to see these new projects / technologies coming to life.”

DNV representative, Claudio Bittencourt said:“The experience acquired so far during design, manufacturing and installation is vital for the consolidation and improvement of the technology. Soon the PivotBuoy project will start providing operational data, following years of work on this innovative technology. This will provide vital support for the next development of the full-scale technology.”