Spanish offshore wind developer, X1 Wind, has announced that its X30 floating wind prototype has produced its first electricity in the Canary Islands.
The power was supplied to the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), a techno-scientific facility and smart grid that supports R&D initiatives in the marine field. The electricity was fed through a 1.4km subsea cable connected to a 20V transformer, X1 Wind said in a statement. Further testing and verification will now take place to prepare the way for commercial-scale projects.
The company claims that the development is important for two reasons: one, it is the only floating wind platform installed so far using the tension leg platform (TLP) mooring system; and two, the electricity generated is the first power to be exported from a floating platform via a subsea cable.
A key feature of the design, developed through the EU-supported PivotBuoy scheme, combines the advantages of single point moorings (SPM) with TLP systems. This enables the floating plant to weathervane and maximise energy yields, with an electrical swivel to prevent any cable twisting.
The TLP setup, meanwhile, reduces the seabed footprint compared to systems based on catenary mooring lines. This minimises environmental impact, maximises compatibility with other sea users, and increases system suitability for deployment in deeper waters.
The company’s co-founder and CTO, Carlos Casanovas, commented: "First power represents a huge milestone for X1 Wind and the ‘lift-off’ moment we’ve been building towards for many years. The first kilowatt-hour is always a symbolic moment for any new energy generation project, and for our team, partners, and supporters, it crystallises the immense journey we’ve been on and the exciting path which lies ahead."
"Floating wind is set to play a vital role supporting the future energy transition, global decarbonisation and ambitious net-zero targets," Casanovas continued. "Today’s announcement marks another significant stride forward for X1 Wind, accelerating towards certification and commercial-scale ambitions to deliver 15-MW platforms and beyond in deepwater sites around the globe."
X1 Wind generates first power from floating plant