The 2020 Gerard & Anton Award winner Touchwind is speeding up field testing of its floating wind turbine in the Dutch Oostvoorne Lake. With an investment from Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Touchwind has secured a better position for growth in the coming period. MOL will also be a minority shareholder in Touchwind. The amount of the investment was not revealed.
Last year, MOL and Touchwind already agreed upon an MoU for the joint development of floating wind technology. With the financial investment, field testing of TouchWind’s tilting-angled one-piece rotor floating wind turbine can be expanded, and new research into positive wake effects can be started.
The tilting-angled one-piece rotor wind turbine, which TouchWind is developing, is expected to reduce wind interference between wind turbines. This interference tends to occur in large wind farms, and Touchwind’s solution could improve overall wind farm power generation efficiency. In addition, its design enables the wind turbines to operate in strong winds, reduces the weight of the wind turbine and floating parts, and is expected to improve the utilization rate and the economics of the wind turbine equipment through their lifecycle.
Since 2019, TouchWind has been conducting tests to demonstrate the principle of its wind turbine technology with the help of grants from the Government of the Netherlands and supporting companies. In July 2023, TouchWind received a grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to manufacture up to 10 wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 6 m (output 12 kW). From 2024 to 2025, TouchWind plans to conduct tests to verify the effect of reducing wind interference between wind turbines on land and in the sea in the Netherlands.
Speed up testing
Ryota Hayashi, General Manager responsible for Wind Power Projects Unit in MOL, states: “We are pleased that we can continue the journey with TouchWind and have become a shareholder of the company as we see exciting potential in their technology.”
Founder and CEO of TouchWind, Rikus van de Klippe, welcomes MOL as a shareholder: “We have been working together for a year now on further developing our floating wind turbine. Field testing with a 6m diameter rotor is fully prepared in the Oostvoorne Lake in the Netherlands. With MOL as a shareholder and their investments, we can speed up our testing program, prove our technology, and reduce time to market.”