There was a time in the early 2010s in the offshore wind industry when vertical axis turbines (VAWTs) looked about to make the leap to commercialisation for floating projects, before traditional, three-blade concepts scaled up and away on the back of the economics of ever-larger rotors and took over the market from these ‘egg beater’ designs.

But the VAWT may be about to make a comeback – and in style. The US government’s heavily funded Atlantis programme (see panel below) – set up by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to find “radically new” floating wind technologies – is underwriting development of an up-to-15MW concept being hatched at the University of Texas at Dallas.