France's future is...floating?
It may not be the first thing you think of when you think of the future of energy, but with the aim of generating 1/3 of its energy from renewables, France is beginning to explore some new possibilities, especially when it comes to wind power.
In conjunction with the French naval shipbuilding and energy company DCNS, GE is developing a floating wind turbine system. How does it work? Instead of embedding towers on the ocean floor, the offshore wind turbines sit on a floating system made of steel and concrete. The floating wind turbine platform is attached to the sea bed by the same kind of anchoring device employed from oil and gas offshore platforms.
And the benefits of this wind turbine technology are many. The wind turbines can be assembled more safely on land, helping to mitigate delays or extra expenses caused by bad weather that can plague offshore turbines. Wind turbine repairs can be done in port too, helping to minimize maintenance expenses.
The pursuit of floating wind farms
Floating wind turbines are beginning to gain worldwide popularity, already having been adopted in countries like Norway, Portugal, and Japan. The French government likes them, too—it recently chose GE’s offshore wind turbine, Haliade, as the preferred turbine for a new floating wind farm, located in the Bay of Biscay, an area known for its high wind and stormy seas. If the Haliade wind turbine can work in this environment, it won’t be too long before floating turbines are popping up all around France.
The pursuit of floating wind farms expands on GE’s continued use of latest wind power technology including their use of digital and software solutions to optimize wind power.
Read the full story on GE Reports.