Nexans to supply cables for 66kV floating offshore wind farm

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Nexans will equip the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind farm with its 66kV outer-cone T-connectors.

WindFloat Atlantic, a 25 megawatt (MW) floating wind farm to be installed off the coast of Portugal, is designed to demonstrate the viability of Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology, which might hold the key to an inexhaustible resource potential in Europe. It will be the world’s first large-scale commercial FOW project operating at 66 kilovolt (kV), for which Nexans will supply pre-terminated and factory-tested turbine cables, as well as the full scope of T-connectors terminating the dynamic inter-array cables.

WindEurope, an association promoting the use of wind power in Europe, reports that in European seas, 80% of all the offshore wind resource is located in waters 60m and deeper, where traditional bottom-fixed turbines are currently not economically attractive. This is where the floating offshore wind technology could become a viable solution, allowing operators to tap into areas far from shore with much higher and more consistent wind speeds. To harness this potential, Principle Power is developing the WindFloat Atlantic project 20km off the north-west coast of Portugal, in water depths of 100m. The project is designed to supply enough energy to meet the needs of 16,000 households. 

The WindFloat Atlantic project, due online in 2019, will feature three MHI Vestas V164-8.4 MW turbines installed on ballasted, triangular, semi-submersible foundations. The project will run at 66kV and Nexans has been selected to supply its Windlink pre-terminated factory-tested cable system, which provides a flexible connection inside the turbine between the transformer and switchgear.

In addition, JDR has selected Nexans to supply the 66kV T-connectors that will provide the connection for the phase cores of the dynamic 66kV floating wind inter-array cables that JDR is supplying. Allowing access to the cable conductor, Nexans’ outer-cone technology facilitates the inter-array post-installation tests. The EPDM material of the accessories provides strong resistance to rough offshore conditions.

“We are delighted to be involved as a key supplier for the WindFloat Atlantic project, that will be a major step in demonstrating the technical and commercial viability of floating offshore wind farms, especially as it also validates the importance of 66kV technology,” said Johan Burnier, Nexans 66kV accessories business developer. “Some years ago, the Group made a strategic decision to move ahead of the curve in developing our global 66kV capability. That is now paying off as Nexans has become one of the global leaders in 66kV turbine cables and connectors.”

The outer-cone T-connectors for the WindFloat Atlantic project are delivered by Nexans Euromold facility in Erembodegem and Nexans Power Accessories Germany GmbH plant in Hof. The Windlink HV flexible turbine cables are supplied by Nexans Germany plant in Mönchengladbach. The turbine cables and accessories are assembled and tested by Nexans Power Accessories Germany GmbH plant in Hof.