Winflo developer looks to India

French defence & shipping firm to prioritise marine renewables

A company currently producing a series of submarines for the Indian Navy may seek to progress its floating offshore wind concept – and other marine renewable technologies - in waters off the Gujarat coast.

Indian press reports have quoted Bernard Planchais, chief operating officer of French defence manufacturer, DCNS, as indicating that the company's sees India as a focus for the development of its renewable energy business.

DCNS is developing a portfolio of marine renewable technologies that includes ocean thermal, tidal and wave turbines as well as the Winflo floating offshore wind technology. Its corporate strategy for the post-2020 period includes substantial revenue growth, with marine renewables an area earmarked for priority. The company is three-quarters owned by the French state and currently has annual revenue in the region of €2.7bn.

Development of the Winflo design is being pursued by a consortium of which DCNS is a member. It will be put to the test before the end of the year, according to Planchais. In 2009, Winflo was chosen to receive state funding for a small-scale offshore test, scheduled to begin in early 2013. This is to be followed by a larger installation, further ashore, from 2015. Once up and running, Winflo will join other experimental floating wind projects off the coasts of Japan, Portugal and Norway.

India's government has begun taking preliminary steps toward the development of offshore wind farms, however, progress has been slow. The government of the south eastern state of Tamil Nadu has shown the greatest interest, thus far, in encouraging offshore wind projects, however, waters off Gujarat have also been identified as having a substantial wind resource.

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