The Mediterranean's first floating meteorological mast has completed a four-month trial in the Aegean Sea off Greece.
FloatMast’s eponymous tension leg platform (TLP) based met-mast protototype, which was installed in 65 metres of water off the island of Makronisos, collected 120 ‘streams’ of data during the assignment, including wind and wave measurements, weather and ship traffic.
“Our project has been moving very fast lately,” managing director Antonios Peppas told Recharge.
“We have deployed our floating met mast between the islands of Makronisos and Kea.
“The aim is to provide proof of concept and our measurements refer to 120 different streams of information,” he said, adding a number of developers had “already shown an interest for this innovation”.
The 1:1 scale prototype, which along with a host of sensors also featured a wind-reading Lidar unit as well as a conventional cup anemometer, recorded a maximum wind speed of 27.6 metres per second.
“After this first four months of continuous observations in Greece, we expect [the technology] to disrupt the wind resource market, as it is fit for [turbine] power curve verification,” Peppas added.
Because of its diesel-dependent island populations and deep water, Greece has emerged as potential key market for floating wind developers, with Stavanger-headquartered energy giant Equinor recently confirming that deployment of moored arrays in the Aegean Sea had been discussed at national government level by Norway and Greece.
The International Energy Agency recently forecast offshore wind power to mushroom to become a main engine of the transition toward a decarbonised global energy system in the coming decades, with the worldwide fleet expanding 15-fold from the current 23GW installed to reach at least 340GW by 2040.