Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) will invest in the floating wind technology start-up, TouchWind. The Dutch company is developing a low-cost tilting angled one-piece rotor wind turbine.

TouchWind’s tilting wind turbine is expected to reduce wind interference between wind turbines, which tends to occur in large wind farms. The turbine will improve overall wind farm power generation efficiency. In addition, its unique 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 utilisation rate and economics of the wind turbine equipment through their lifecycle.

TouchWind was founded in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2018 and is now based in Eindhoven. Since 2019, TouchWind and its partners (VDL, MARIN, NIDEC, TU Delft, We4Ce, Enersea, EJ Projects, MOL and RVO) have been conducting tests to demonstrate the principle of its wind turbine technology with the help of grants from the Dutch government and supporting companies.

Upcoming technology trials

In July 2023, TouchWind received a grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to manufacture up to ten wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 6 metres (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.

‘We have been working together for over a year now on the further development of our tilting angled one-piece rotor floating wind turbine,’ adds founder and CEO of TouchWind, Rikus van de Klippe. ‘Field testing with a 6-metre diameter rotor is in full preparation at the Oostvoorne lake in the Netherlands. With MOL as a shareholder and their investments, we can speed up our testing programme to prove our technology.’

During the demonstration, TouchWind wants to test the installation, mooring and anchoring, as well as the ecological impact of their floating wind turbines on the unique location at the Oostvoornse lake.

The turbine will be anchored with ecological hybrid anchors made by start-up Coastruction, an expert in the field of 3D powder bed printing with natural materials, ecological designs and inclusive design processes.

Also read: TU Delft launches Floating Renewables Lab to boost floating offshore wind

MOL to expand in offshore wind

With the participation of investment in TouchWind, MOL will advance technology development for the practical application of its wind turbines and aim to acquire business opportunities within the supply chain of next-generation floating offshore wind turbines in Europe, Japan and other Asian regions in the future.

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.’

The picture at the top is a still from the video by TouchWind above.

Also read: Damen Shipyards to develop new anchor handling vessels to support floating offshore wind