French Test Offshore Vertical Axis Wind

Remember DeepWind? That was the Dutch-led effort to explore using a floating, vertical-axis turbine for offshore wind power generation. Now a French company, Technip, appears to be chasing a similar dream, announcing the launch of the Vertiwind project.

Technip has some experience in this field: It said it helped on the “successful design, fabrication and installation of Hywind, the first industrial size floating wind turbine, for Statoil in Norway.” But Hywind, while novel in that it was a floating turbine, had the traditional blade design. Going vertical offshore reportedly represents yet another leap. Along with DeepWind, this is also something being pursued in the United Kingdom with a project called Novel Offshore Vertical Axis.

offshore floating vertical-axis wind power, Technip

image via Technip

Technip, a global energy engineering firm, said it has a host of partners on the project, including Seal Engineering, ISITV, IFP Energies nouvelles, Arts et Métiers, Bureau Veritas and Oceanide. The company said it was also getting unspecified funding from France’s Environment and Energy Management Agency.

The company believes that, free of the constraints related to the foundations of fixed wind turbines, its Vertiwind concept “opens new perspectives for wind farms offshore numerous countries notably in the Mediterranean basin, in Europe and the United States.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Tim

    Interesting. Has anyone ever considered underwater vertical turbines? You wouldn’t face the “ugliness issue.”. And moving water has a lot more power than wind.

    Milwaukee Tim