Gas Natural Fenosa promotes “Zefir Test Station” off-shore wind energy project (Spain)

In a joint project with other companies and organisations, the energy company is working on the development of an international R&D station off the Catalan coast to carry out research into offshore wind energy.

GAS NATURAL FENOSA has signed an agreement with the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) to develop and build an international R&D station for testing offshore wind energy technology, the ZÈFIR Test Station.

The research platform will be used to test offshore wind turbines in deep waters, and will be constructed in two stages. The first will consist of installing a series wind turbines near the coast. GAS NATURAL FENOSA will play a key role in this stage, collecting and evaluating data on wind resources and the effects of waves and marine currents. It will also be involved in a range of tasks including assessing the environmental impact, developing the infrastructures on which the turbines will be constructed and installing interconnections.

In this first stage, which will begin this year, GAS NATURAL FENOSA will work in partnership with a number of universities and companies on the installation of sensors and measuring equipment, analysing the data and matching it to data produced by simulation tools, and developing and testing numerical models for the design of the second stage.

The second stage will consist of up to 8 floating wind turbines, to be installed further out to sea in order to reduce the visual impact and to take advantage of strong, regular sea winds.

This agreement is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to research projects in Catalonia into more efficient and environmentally-friendly energy solutions, positioning GAS NATURAL FENOSA at the forefront of the development of deep water offshore wind farms.


Source: gasnatural, September 13, 2010;