Front end engineering has begun on 1 GW of floating offshore wind energy installations for the Haewoori 2 and 3 projects off Ulsan, South Korea, a big advance on deployment of the three-legged WindFloat platform developed by California-based Principle Power Inc.

The firm is a subcontractor to Norway-based Aker Solutions AB, which has just secured the early stage contract from Haewoori Offshore Wind, which is backed by Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Aker will also undertake construction planning and support local procurement.

The project puts “Korea well on track to becoming the first market in the world to deploy floating wind technology at commercial scale,” says Aaron Smith, Principle Power chief commercial officer.

To date, the developer has installed WindFloat platforms supporting 75 MW of turbines off Portugal and Scotland. Its first three commercial platforms support 8.4 MW turbines in 330 ft of water some 12 miles off the Portuguese coast that has generated power since 2020.

That was followed a year later at Scotland’s Kincardine field, 9 miles off Aberdeen. Floating on 200 to 260-ft-deep water, its five platforms support 9.5-MW turbines.

The company aims to install 300 floating turbines by 2030.