Floatgen returns home

Centrale NantesAfter two years of construction in Saint-Nazaire port, Floatgen is now fully operational and will be towed and moored at the Centrale Nantes' offshore test site.

SEM-REV, which is located 20 km off the coast from Le Croisic, is the first site French multi-technology offshore test site connected to the power grid.

Three deep sea tugs were deployed during this operation. Setting off late afternoon on the 29th April, it took them about a day to transport the wind turbine to the SEM-REV test site.
Centrale Nantesv says an additional three to four days will be required for docking and connection to the export cable, which connects the wind turbine to the power grid onshore.

Floatgen will be tested under real operating conditions for 2 years. During the testing phase, the electricity produced by the turbine will be injected into the French power grid and Floatgen will supply enough electricity to meet the needs of a city the size of Le Croisic.

Floatgen comprises a 5000-tonne hollow concrete float that Centrales Nantes claim not only significantly reduces its cost, but its specific geometry makes it extremely stable. It also says the six 220mm-diameter nylon anchor lines will allow it to withstand the strongest storms in the area, 20km off the coast, where winds can reach 150km/h and waves of 14m high in the winter.

It is connected to the French power grid via an underwater hub that allows up to three prototypes to be connected simultaneously. This hub is connected to an electrical station onshore via an 8MW cable, which is buried under 2m of sand and sediment. Nautical activities (fishing, boating etc) are thus unaffected.

According to Centrales Nantes the general design of this floating foundation means that the turbine is suitable for a very wide range of sea depths, from the shallowest (about 35m) to the deepest.

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