New floating offshore wind platform design to be piloted in Portugal

Designed for deep waters, the platform is modular and scalable, says the company.
Ameya Paleja
The company uses a modular assembly for its offshore floating platforms
The company uses a modular assembly for its offshore floating platforms

Gazella Wind Power 

Gazelle Wind Power, a Dublin-based company focused on developing floating offshore wind platforms, will debut its radical new design at a pilot plant at Aguçadoura in Portugal, a press release said. The successful completion of the project will mark an important milestone for the company, which is looking to showcase its technology to the world.

For countries looking to tap into renewable sources of energy without compromising on limited land space, offshore wind platforms are a crucial part of their future energy plans. While the initial plans were only intended to move these platforms offshore, as wind turbines get bigger in size and capacity, there is a greater reason to go deeper into the waters to install them.

Floating offshore wind platforms offer the right balance between the costs of construction and difficulties in the implementation of the project. Gazelle's new design for offshore platforms promises to make them easier to install and maintain.

How is the offshore platform different?

Gazelle claims that its platform technology has a significantly smaller footprint when compared to catenary mooring systems. The smaller footprint also results in lesser weight, thereby leading to cost savings on materials, handling, and assembly.

New floating offshore wind platform design to be piloted in Portugal
Gazelle innovation is in the mooring system and reducing the pitch angle to almost zero

The Gazelle platform design uses a central counterweight to respond to the waves. The tripodal arms that anchor to the seabed also have reduced mooring lengths and loads. The company states on its website that the design allows the platform to move horizontally and vertically with the wind and the waves at almost a zero-pitch angle. Reduced pitch angles mean lesser wear and tear on the turbine system, reducing maintenance and increasing the life of the generator.

Gazelle's design allows its platform to be modular and made using smaller and lighter components. This results in easier manufacturing and cost-effective assembly since it minimizes the use of cranes at harbors. Transportation of the platform to the site and commissioning are also expected to be easier with this design, which can be scaled easily.

The company is testing its technology at a pilot plant in Portugal, a country that has ambitious plans for renewable energy. Having completed a 25 MW commercial floating wind farm, the country is now looking to generate as much as 10 GW of renewable energy using offshore wind by the end of the decade.

"The innovative design behind the Gazelle platform makes it a very promising solution to drive the offshore wind industry into the future," said Adelino Costa Matos, Chairman of WAM Horizon, Gazelle's partner in Portugal who was also involved in the commissioning of the 25 MW wind farm. "We are eager to continue working with the Gazelle team to move this pilot project forward and make an impact on the clean energy transition.”

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