Japanese shipping giant MOL invests in floating wind innovator
Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines has confirmed it has invested in floating wind start-up TouchWind and become a shareholder in the Dutch company
In 2022, the companies signed a memorandum of understanding for joint development of TouchWind’s one-piece rotor floating wind turbine. More recently, TouchWind and Coastruction agreed to conduct a pilot project and received a €75,000 (US$80,000) grant from the Energie & Klimaat programme in the Netherlands.
Together with a number of partners, TouchWind plans to test a prototype of its floating wind turbine. During the demonstration, TouchWind wants to test the installation, mooring and anchoring system for the turbine.
TouchWind is developing a tilting, one-piece rotor wind turbine which it believes can reduce interference, known as the ‘wake effect,’ between wind turbines of the type that tends to occur in large windfarms. Reducing interference can improve the overall efficiency of power generation.
In addition, TouchWind states, its unique design enables wind turbines to operate in strong winds, reduces the weight of the wind turbine and floating components, and is expected to improve utilisation rates and the economics of the wind turbine over its lifecycle.
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The company has been conducting tests to demonstrate its technology for some time, with the help of grants from the government of the Netherlands and supporting companies.
In July 2023, it received a grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to manufacture up to 10 wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 6 m. In 2024/2025, TouchWind plans to conduct tests to verify the wind turbine’s ability to reduce interference. It will do so on land and offshore the Netherlands.
MOL general manager wind power Ryota Hayashi said, “We are pleased we can continue our journey with TouchWind and have become a shareholder in the company.”
TouchWind founder and chief executive Rikus van de Klippe said, “We have been working together for over a year now on the development of our tilting angled one-piece rotor floating wind turbine. Field testing with a 6 m diameter rotor is due to take place at the Oostvoorne lake in the Netherlands. With MOL as a shareholder and its investments, we can speed up our testing programme to prove our technology.”