The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 60 million loan to Windplus SA, a subsidiary of EDP Renováveis (79.4%), Repsol S.A. (19.4%) and Principle Power Inc. (1.2%). The company plans to build and operate a first-of-its-kind offshore floating wind farm, using semisubmersible platforms located off the northern coast of Portugal, 20 km from Viana do Castelo at a depth of 85-100 metres. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Energy Harvesting Microwatt to Megawatt 2019-2029.
Emma Navarro, EIB Vice-President, and João Manso Neto, CEO of EDP Renováveis and Windplus representative, signed the agreement in Lisbon. The EUR 60 million loan will finance the floating wind farm with the support of the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Project facility, which is funded under the EU's current research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. In addition, the project will receive EUR 29.9 million from the EU's NER300 programme, and up to EUR 6 million from the Government of Portugal, through the Portuguese Carbon Fund.
At the signing event, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro said: "We are delighted to support a project that is a milestone for the renewable energy sector. Through this agreement, the EU bank is financing cutting-edge energy technology that will be deployed in Portugal and that will make it possible to install windfarms in locations that were not feasible until this moment, contributing to Europe's leadership in developing innovative responses to the climate change challenge. This agreement is a good example that demonstration of the EIB's commitment to financing innovation and climate action".
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Today's deal is another example of how EU financing is helping to lower the risk of rolling out innovative energy solutions like WindFloat. We need breakthrough technologies to accelerate the clean energy transition in Europe and lead the global fight against climate change. This will ultimately improve the quality of life and create new jobs and economic growth for citizens."
António Mexia, EDP CEO, said: "The commitment to renewable energy, coupled with a strong investment in innovation, has been one of EDP's strategic priorities over the last decade. Our group continues to expand its renewable capacity both in the markets where it is already present and by entering into new countries. The windfloat explores new promising technology and once again positions EDP as the world's leading wind power company, now pioneering a project in the offshore industry. This new technology, suitable for deep waters such as those of Portugal, has already proved successful in its first phase under demanding conditions,and this new phase marks a steady transition to an ambitious commercial stage."
Antonio Lorenzo, Repsol CFO, said that "this pioneering project reflects Repsol's commitment to innovation and the energy transition. As a multi-energy supplier, generating low-emission electricity is a priority."
Joao Metelo, Principle Power CEO, said that "this financing represents a major milestone for Principle Power and for the floating wind industry as a whole as it fully demonstrates the financiability of the technology, and its readiness for commercial deployment globally."
The project belongs to the Windplus consortium, which is jointly owned by EDP Renováveis (79.4%), Repsol (19.4%) and Principle Power Inc. (1.2%). The facility comprises three wind turbines that sit upon floating platforms anchored to the seabed at a depth of 100 metres. The wind farm will have an installed capacity of 25 MW, equivalent to the energy consumed by 60.000 homes over the course of a year.
The new installation represents a flagship project in the innovative sector of floating wind energy and will contribute to the development, standardisation and manufacturing improvement of multi-MW modular floating platforms, which is a key objective under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) of the European Commission. Two of the platforms will be manufactured in the dockyards of Setúbal, Portugal, and the third in the dockyards of Avilés and Fene, Spain.
It is estimated that nearly 80% of the offshore wind resources are located in waters 60 metres or more deep in the European seas where the cost of fixed-bottom structures is not economically attractive. The development of floating offshore wind technologies will make it possible to take advantage of cost reduction techniques employed in the sector which, combined with the higher capacity factor achieved in deeper water locations, will lead to significant reductions in the levelised cost of energy for floating offshore wind projects.
Source: European Investment Bank
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