Deepwater to develop WindFloat

Deepwater Wind says it will develop Principle Power’s 30MW Windfloat Pacific project off the coast of Oregon, which on Wednesday won up to $46.7m in additional funding from the US Energy Department to demonstrate the semi-submersible floating technology in 2017.

Deepwater, based in Rhode Island, says its agreement signed several months ago with Principle Power solidifies its position as the leading American offshore wind developer.

“The WindFloat Pacific project is an exciting opportunity to bring offshore wind energy to the U.S. West Coast and to expand Deepwater’s Wind’s growing portfolio of clean energy projects,” says Deepwater chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski. 

The five-turbine WindFloat Pacific project would be built within a 15-square mile lease area in federal waters roughly 15 miles off Coos Bay, Oregon. The US Interior Department in February released a determination of no competitive interest for the proposed lease area, and is proceeding with a non-competitive lease issuance for the project.

Principle Power has successfully operated a full-scale WindFloat prototype off the coast of Portugal since 2011, where it’s delivered in excess of nine GWh of wind energy to the local grid.

“Principle Power’s WindFloat technology is on the cutting edge of the offshore wind industry, and their Portugal prototype proves that the WindFloat technology is ready for a demonstration-scale commercial deployment,” Grybowski adds.

He says the Oregon project is complimentary to Deepwater’s pilot-scale 30MW wind farm to be located in state waters about three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.

R.I. The facility is on target to be in full commercial operation in second half 2016.

“Deepwater Wind brings all the necessary experience and resources to advance the WindFloat Pacific project. Our agreement brings together accomplishments and expertise – Principle Power’s proven technology and Deepwater’s experienced energy team,” says Alla Weinstein, chief executive of Principle Power.