X1 Wind has received €4m funding from EU Commission Horizon 2020 for its PivotBuoy project, a single point mooring system capable of reducing floating offshore wind costs.

29Mar - X1wind

Image: PivotBuoy project is single point mooring system. Photo: Courtesy of X1 Wind.

X1 Wind is leading a consortium of nine partners to deploy a prototype of the PivotBuoy, at a test site at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN).

Once proven, the technology is capable of turning the floating wind competitive by reducing the platform weight by as much as 80% and costs by 50%.

The project is aimed at validating the benefits of the PivotBuoy system and other key innovations to reduce the costs of installation, operation and maintenance, and clear the way to achieve 50€/MWh in commercial-scale wind farms.

EIT InnoEnergy, a European sustainable energy innovation engine, has initially backed the platform that can perform operations at an increased water depth, compared to other floating solutions, and opened up hundreds of sites, which were previously technically or commercially inaccessible.

The company said that the system combines benefits of Single Point Mooring systems with those of Tension-Leg Platform systems and a more efficient downwind structural design. Thereby, the system helps to achieve a radical weight reduction in floating wind structures compared to current spar and semi-submersible systems.

X1 Wind CEO Alex Raventos said: “In the last decade, a number of prototypes have successfully proven floating wind is technically feasible, but costs need to be reduced by at least 50%. Technology disruption is required to achieve large-scale competitive floating offshore wind.

“Together with a consortium of nine cutting edge R&D institutions and industry partners, we plan to demonstrate the advantages of our innovative PivotBuoy system. We are delighted to receive this important support from the European Commission.”

X1 Wind has designed a downwind floating wind platform at PLOCAN’s test site, where the consortium is expected to integrate a part-scale prototype of the PivotBuoy.

The system is anticipated to be installed by 2020, where other innovations related to assembly and installation to be validated.

The project consortium comprises experienced industry partners and R&D organizations from various sectors like offshore wind, naval and oil and gas sectors. The project will officially start on April 1 and will last for 36 months.