Vestas says that the inauguration of an offshore wind turbine on a floating platform marks a “new era” in the offshore wind power sector.

The wind turbine company and a group of partners have successfully commissioned a Vestas V80-2.0 MW wind turbine on a WindFloat floating foundation off the coast of Portugal.

The turbine is not only the first offshore wind turbine in Portugal, but also the first to be installed without the use of any heavy lift vessels or piling equipment at sea.

This type of foundation will enable energy companies to exploit wind resources in deep offshore waters, and will also help to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy, says Vestas, whose partners in the project include Energias de Portugal (EDP), Repsol, Principle Power, ASM and InovCapital.

The Vestas turbine installed in Portugal has already produced 1.7 GWh of energy. The turbine and substructure were assembled and installed on land and then wet-towed offshore using tug vessels.

“We are very pleased with the successful integration of the turbine and the WindFloat platform,” said Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel. “It has been an interesting and valuable experience and we are proud of the satisfactory results achieved so far.”

Vestas also said in a statement that the project “underlines the company’s dedication to the offshore wind market”. It recently scrapped plans to develop a 7 MW wind turbine manufacturing facility on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, UK.