Malta plans floating offshore turbines

MALTA: The Mediterranean island of Malta has revealed a platform-based solution to deploying offshore wind turbines in deep waters

The scheme, devised by Copenhagen-based Hexicon AB, is a hexagon shaped lattice platform that can rotate around a central axis to align with changes in wind direction.

Secured to the seabed, the platform would support six 6.5MW turbines, along with a docking platform and a helipad to assist servicing and maintenance. The platform would also support a substation.

Public consultation has begun, prior to construction of the first platform. The Maltese government says it plans an eventual 36-turbine scheme to be located 20km off the island’s north east coast in water depths of 100-150 metres.

If the project gets planning approval, and if EU funding is forthcoming, it could be generating electricity by 2014.

Malta currently generates just 2% of its electricity from renewable sources but has a target of generating 10% from wind, solar and biomass by 2020.

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