France

France

EDF invests in Norwegian design for gravity-base foundations

Electranova Capital backs SeaTower

Electranova Capital, an investment fund launched in May by French utility EDF, has announced that one of its first two investments will focus on offshore wind technology.

The fund’s remit has chosen to back SeaTower, a Norwegian business with roots in the offshore oil industry. This fits with Electranova’s remit to invest in clean-tech energy sector start-ups.

Electranova Capital has at least €60m to invest, but declined to specify to Windpower Offshore how much it will allocate to SeaTower. The fund is supported by insurance giant Allianz and operates works in partnership with French private equity player, Idinvest Partners.

SeaTower has developed what it describes as "pioneering gravity-base foundations" for offshore wind projects. Its design will reduce costs and project risks, says the company.

Its floating concrete and steel foundations can be towed to site and then lowered to the seabed by using seawater and sand as ballast, avoiding the need for cranes, dredging and expensive installation vessels, confirms SeaTower.  Like other gravity-base designs, SeaTower’s foundations are suitable for deeper-water sites and are generally viewed as having less of an impact on marine ecosystems than monopiles.

Earlier this year, the UK government awarded more than £500,000 (€618,820) to Gravitas Offshore, another company seeking to commercialise its gravity-base foundation.

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