A €60 million loan from the EU will help the WindPlus consortium install a wind farm that will float in deep waters off the Portuguese coast, the first of its kind.
The agreement was signed today in Lisbon by Emma Navarro, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and João Manso Neto, CEO of EDP Renováveis and Windplus representative.
Once operational, the wind farm will start supplying 25MW of clean electricity, which is equivalent to the consumption of approximately 30 000 households. The WindFloat Atlantic project will use innovative floating structures that enable harvesting of abundant wind resources in deep waters where building foundations on the sea-floor is not possible. This will open up new export opportunities for the European wind industry.
Commissioner Moedas 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.
The €60 million loan will come from the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects facility (InnovFin EDP), which is funded under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. In addition, the project will receive €29.9 million from the EU’s NER300 programme. InnovFin EDP was launched in 2015 by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to provide debt or debt-like finance to innovative first-of-a-kind projects in the fields of renewable energy, energy storage, smart grids, and carbon capture utilisation and storage. The WindFloat technology, which is now reaching commercial stage, also received financial support from the EU’s previous research and innovation programme (FP7), between 2007 and 2013.
WindPlus, set up by Energias de Portugal, REPSOL and Principle Power Inc., will install the offshore wind farm approximately 20 kilometres off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Northern Portugal where the water depth is between 85 and 100 metres. It will feature three 8.4 MW ‘Vestas V-164’ turbines. The platform and turbines will be assembled in a local harbour before being transported offshore using tugboats.
Public financial support is needed to lower the risk of market uptake of the next generation of low‑carbon energy technologies, which typically lack access to finance (the so-called ‘valley of death’ from demonstration to market). Once fully commercialised, those technologies are expected to greatly contribute to the EU's leadership in renewable energy and global efforts to mitigate climate change.
This InnovFin EDP deal follows the signing of a €52.5 million loan for the manufacturing of innovative battery cells for use in transport, energy storage and industry (Northvolt, Sweden); a €30 million loan for a gasification plant that converts wood residues and industrial waste into electricity and heat (CHO TIPER, France); a €15 million loan to set up a manufacturing line for new and highly-efficient photovoltaic technology (Oxford PV, Germany); and a €10 million loan to build a demonstration unit that converts wave energy into electrical power (WaveRoller, Portugal).
19 October 2018