Gicon cash for Baltic floater

German floating wind turbine designer Gicon has pocketed over €5m ($6.9m) from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to push ahead with a full-scale pilot project in the Baltic Sea.

Fabrication of the company’s flagship SOF unit, a 3MW turbine mounted on a distinctive tension leg platform based around a latticework of braces and flotation cylinders, is set to begin in July at at the Volkswerft shipyard in Stralsund.

"For nearly two years, Gicon has, at its own risk and with a significant proportion of own resources, pursued the goal to build a full-scale pilot of SOF and deploy it in the German Baltic Sea,” says Gicon managing director Jochen Großmann.

“As a result of the funding commitment and the secured financing, we can now fully focus on the challenges ahead.’

Installation for technical testing and environmental monitoring is planned for mid-2015 near the Baltic I wind farm off Germany.

The €5.25m grant was awarded by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s ministry of economy, construction and tourism,

Minister Harry Glawe adds:  "Our objectives are to promote scientific and technological progress and to provide an opportunity for growth in this region.”

The SOF – which stands for Schwimmendes Offshore Fundament, German for “floating offshore foundation” – is designed for water depths ranging from 20-500 metres.