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NextFloat+ Project secures €13m grant from Innovation Fund

The NextFloat+ Project has secured a ‘cornerstone grant’ of €13.4m from the European Commission’s Innovation Fund supporting the industrialisation of floating wind.

The pan-European project aims to accelerate the roll out of the next generation of floating wind technology by boosting competitiveness and scalability.

Led by a consortium formed by X1 Wind, as project coordinator, alongside Technip Energies and NextFloat Plus S.A.S, it will involve the deployment of a 6MW floating wind platform at a test site in Mediterranean Sea.

The pre-commercial prototype, called ‘X90’, will demonstrate a cost-effective integrated system composed of a structurally efficient and lightweight floating platform with a SPM (Single Point Mooring) and a TLP (Tension Leg Platform), greatly reducing the seabed footprint impact.

The cash injection will further advance industrialization and scale-up of the integrated floating wind solution at 20MW+ scale.

X1 Wind CEO and co-founder Alex Raventos said the announcement comes after the X90 platform was granted a Statement of Feasibility and a Statement of Compliance from world-leading independent expert DNV.

“We’re thrilled to receive support from the Innovation Fund” said Mr Raventos. “The grant represents a cornerstone in the fundraising for the NextFloat+ Project, adding to finance already secured through the European Commission under the Horizon Europe program, finance secured through the French Government as part of the France 2030 plan operated by ADEME, plus private funding from partners and shareholders. Crucially, it will provide an opportunity to drive substantial improvements in the competitiveness of floating wind as we prepare for long-term mass deployment in locations around the world.”

The NextFloat+ Project will build on the findings of the PivotBuoy Project, which proved X1 Wind’s innovative technology by successfully deploying a part-scale prototype in the Canary Islands. In particular, it will introduce additional innovations to reduce the LCOE of floating wind and its environmental impact, namely the patented quick-connector system and the installation of a bio-boosting system applied on the floater.

Willy Gauttier, VP Floating Offshore Wind Business Unit of Technip Energies, commented:

“We are thrilled to announce our selection for the NextFloat+ project, an initiative that seeks to propel the pre-commercial phase of a floating wind project and showcase our capacity to facilitate commercial-scale projects in Europe and across the globe. This project presents a singular opportunity to expedite the advancement of sustainable energy solutions and foster the expansion of the floating wind industry.”

The Innovation Fund is financed by EU Emissions Trading System revenues, a ‘cap and trade’ system to reduce emissions via a carbon market. It focuses on highly innovative clean technologies and big flagship projects with European added value that can bring significant emission and greenhouse gas reductions. Sor far, a total of €6.5 billion has been awarded to more than 100 projects spanning across EEA countries.

The NextFloat+ Project was awarded the Innovation Fund grant in the ‘Large-Scale’ call published in March 2023, on the topic of “mid-sized pilots”.

About X1 Wind

X1 Wind is a disruptive floating wind technology developer. Based in Barcelona, Spain, the firm’s mission is to provide highly scalable solutions which deliver clean, affordable energy while reducing carbon emissions across the globe. The company’s unique floating wind concept was initially developed by Carlos Casanovas in 2012 while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), before progressing with the patented technology for almost a decade. In recent years, X1 Wind has rapidly progressed its technology, having successfully executed several tank testing campaigns and completed the design, assembly, installation and testing of a full-featured part-scale demonstrator in the Canary Islands. It has recently been selected by the European Commission to deliver the NextFloat and NextFloat+ projects, an ambitious program accelerating industrial-scale floating wind, together with Technip Energies and other industry leading partners. The company has steadily been building a world-class team of experts in the offshore wind industry and related sectors.