The EDP group has agreed with Ocean Winds (OW), the joint venture created by EDP Renováveis and the French company Engie dedicated to offshore wind energy, to transfer EDP's position in Principle Power, the world's leading company in the floating offshore platform market.
"Since floating technology opens up opportunities for offshore wind energy in areas and countries where the sea depth is greater than 60 meters, the strengthening of its stake in Principle Power reinforces Ocean Winds' ideal position in this growing market," says the company, which adds that "the transfer of EDP's stake in Principle Power will reinforce joint efforts in industrialization and business development, promoting synergies in an accelerating market."
Projections suggest that offshore installations could exceed 200 GW by 2030, growing almost six times over the current level. As part of this expansion, floating offshore installations are expected to reach 11 GW by 2030 and increase to 70 GW by 2040, EDP reveals.
"With a third of its 16.6 GW of offshore wind projects being developed through floating wind power, Ocean Winds' acquisition of EDP's 25.4% stake in Principle Power provides a competitive advantage for the development of its floating wind pipeline and reinforces its position as a leader in a fast-growing market," the company said in a statement.
EDP and the leading company in floating offshore wind platforms started collaborating in 2009 to develop what became the first floating wind farm off the European coast.
The two companies became pioneers in exploiting the potential of the Portuguese coast, where deep seabeds prevent the use of traditional offshore platforms.
"The transfer of EDP's shares to Ocean Winds solidifies the companies' ambition to be global leaders in the offshore wind market," the electric company says.
Principle Power specializes in designing floating structures to support offshore wind turbines, which can be used in deeper waters.
"In 2011, Principle Power and EDP successfully deployed a prototype with a two MW (megawatt) wind turbine installed on a floating platform off Póvoa de Varzim in northern Portugal," reveals EDP, which adds that this was the first full-scale floating offshore wind pilot in semi-submersible technology and the structure underwent tests with waves of more than 17 meters and strong wind gusts.
"WindFloat 1 (WF1) proved the viability of the technology and was then replicated at pre-commercial scale in Portugal, with Windfloat Atlantic, with 25 MW of installed capacity, was the first floating project with access to investment project financing (Project Finance) and is the only offshore wind farm on the Portuguese coast," he adds.
WindFloat Atlantic was then developed and is now operated by Ocean Winds, since the joint venture began in 2019.
"Ocean Winds is also working with Principle Power's technology to advance large floating offshore wind projects in its portfolio, with notable examples including in France (30 MW under construction) and South Korea (1.2 GW, gigawatts, in advanced development)," the statement said.
"Principle Power has several major pre-commercial projects underway and a solid portfolio of commercial projects around the world," explains EDP which adds that "its WindFloat platform, which can be installed regardless of water depth or seabed conditions, is currently in operation in Portugal and Scotland, totaling 75 MW, with an additional 30 MW project under construction in France, making Principle Power the global leader in floating wind technology."
Principle Power was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in California, USA, with offices in France, Portugal, UK, Japan and an expanding presence in Asia. The company employs over 120 talented people who are dedicated to advancing floating offshore solutions and accelerating the energy transition.