Floating Wind Turbines Will Power Oregon's First Offshore Wind Farm

After lagging behind Europe in developing its offshore wind power potential, the United States has finally entered the race in ernest: Delaware has an offshore wind farm in development; similar projects have been discussed for Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. Now the West Coast is getting in on the act.

Principle Power has announced that it is in the process of raising $20 million dollars in a corporate equity round of funding, and is proceeding with plans to develop a wind farm offshore of Tillamook County, Oregon. As the permitting process has not even begun, there is no word on when the project is expected to come online, but here's what's known at this point:150 MW Project to be Built in Stages
Principle Power co-founder and president Jon Bonnano told Greentech Media that the proposed 150 megawatt wind farm will be built in stages: "There is going to be a small-scale pilot initially." He added that Principle won't even begin the permitting process until it has a power purchase agreement in place. So basically, don't be surprised if this one takes a while.

'Wind Float' Floating Wind Turbines to be Used
The project will be using floating wind turbines developed by Marine Innovation & Technology, and licensed exclusively to Principle Power. Each of the turbines has a power rating of 5MW, a rotor diameter of 125 meters, and a turbine height of 100 meters.

The company touts the benefits of the technology:

There are three advantages to the WindFloat foundation: first, its stability provides negligible pitch and yaw; second, its design and size allow for onshore assembly; third, its shallow draft allows for site flexibility.

The WindFloat's semi-submersible offshore floating foundation is fitted with patented horizontal water entrapment heave plates at the base of each column. The plates reduce the structure's size and cost, while achieving excellent performance that is practically free from pitch and yaw in the offshore environment. In addition, WindFloat's superior stability is augmented by an active ballast system.

The design and size of the WindFloat enables the overall structure to be assembled onshore and towed to its final location, significantly reducing construction costs and providing improved site flexibility.

More at :: Greentech Media and :: Principle Power
images: Principle Power
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