Drifting off the coast of Portugal, the frontrunner in the global race for floating windfarms

Three prototype technologies are competing to provide the first commercial floating wind turbines that could harness the world's strongest winds in the deepest waters

Above the inky Atlantic water and beneath a clear blue sky, the giant wind turbine turns gracefully in the steady sea breeze. But the secret of this solitary turbine, sited 5km off the Portuguese coast, lies beneath the gentle swell: it has no foundations and it is floating freely on the ocean, steadied by a triangular yellow platform and decorated by lines of crab-hunting seagulls.

The Windfloat turbine is one of the frontrunners in a global race to develop flotillas of wind turbines that can conquer the deep oceans and reap the strongest winds on the planet. Existing offshore wind turbines, standing on concrete and steel foundations driven into the ocean floor, flounder on heavy costs in depths greater than about 40 metres.

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View full post on Wind power | The Guardian

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