Green power group BayWa re has applied to build a huge floating wind farm off Portugal using turbines as powerful as 20MW that it claims would be the world’s first subsidy-free project operating in the sector.

The Germany-based developer has applied for exclusive seabed rights for a site off Viana do Castelo, where it hopes to deploy 30 turbines for a total capacity of up to 600MW.

If it goes ahead the wind farm would sell its output under a power purchase agreement without the need for any public subsidies, said BayWa re. The company confirmed to Recharge that no offtaker is yet in place.

The developer is advancing the giant project before the expected launch next year of a 10GW tender bonanza signalled by the Portuguese government as the country works to turn the deep waters off its coast into a globally significant centre of floating wind power deployment.

BayWa re said its project could “serve as a blueprint for the bidding projects” and that it “intends to support the creation of a global floating offshore wind supply chain in Portugal using existing local infrastructure, that the tender projects will be able to use”.

The wind farm is due to enter service in 2028, subject to permitting.

Ricardo Rocha, technical director offshore wind at BayWa re, said: “Our project will be a real milestone for the Portuguese offshore industry.

“We have been working hard with our industrial partners and all the stakeholders during the development process. Now is the time to take it to the next level. We are looking forward to continuing collaborating with the Portuguese government and authorities, to make this project not only a project in Portugal, but also and especially, for Portugal.”

Rocha added: “Our project is well in line with Portugal’s ambitious offshore targets. The zone where our floating wind farm is to be built is part of the marine spatial plan of the Portuguese government, so it already has a dedicated zone.”

A number of projects in European waters have 'future proofed' their plans by signaling the possibility of using 20MW turbines against the background of a market that is already commercially launching machines as powerful as 16MW.

BayWa re is among a clutch of ambitious developers looking to tap the upcoming boom in a floating sector that is tipped by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) to install almost 19GW by 2030.

The German developer is also active in floating in Scotland, where it was a winner in the giant ScotWind leasing round, and France.