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Abstract This paper presents the main achievements of the WindFloat Atlantic project, the first pre-commercial wind farm using semi-submersible technology. The journey from initial technology development through the project execution is discussed, with the viewpoint of upcoming commercial deployments. Following the successful deployment of the WF1 prototype, the WindFloat Atlantic is a 25MW floating wind farm composed of 3 semi-submersible platforms hosting 8.4MW wind turbines. The wind farm has recently completed the first year of operation, 17km off the coast of Viana do Castelo. Key technology requirements were developed, implemented, and demonstrated, including an extended design lifetime of 25-years, building on the knowledge of oil&gas permanent units and fixed-bottom offshore wind. The use of large commercial turbines required a quay-side assembly process, with turbines installed with the foundations a float or temporally grounded. By using an onshore crane, the project avoided the use of large offshore heavy-lift vessels, also allowing most of the commissioning works to be completed onshore. The offshore activities were greatly simplified, being designed to allow a tow-to-port O&M strategy for large component replacement. Following a multi-contract strategy, the project fostered the development of the value chain and the processes required to install multi-unit offshore wind farms. Furthermore, the project achieved non-recourse finance from EIB, demonstrating the bankability of the technology and representing a step-change towards the readiness of floating wind technology for large commercial deployments.
Since January 1993, the Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo (ENVC) Shipyard in Portugal has been engaged in a program of productivity improvement In many other shipyards, the traditional approach has been to select wide-ranging technology projects and to employ large teams of advisors and counterpart managers. The approach here has been to involve key functional areas with wide involvement of yard personnel in driving the program forward. The consultancy team has been small and has acted as a catalyst and advisor on the management of change and the specification and implementation of new technology. The central theme has been the establishment of workstation operations. The emphasis of the project has been in developing a structured approach to productivity improvement through the implementation of "best practice." The objective has not been to implement perceived latest technology, but to adapt the approach to suit local conditions and culture. To date the results have been dramatic and far-reaching. The yard is now adopting a radically new approach to planning and production engineering, to the preparation of production information, and to the organization of work on the shop floor.