IREC Starts Award Process for ZÈFIR Test Station (Spain)
The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) has started the award process for Phase 1 of the ZÈFIR Test Station, the first offshore wind turbine platform of its kind in Spain for conducting technological and environmental research.
The Zèfir Test Station is to become an international research platform for testing deep water wind turbines that will be located off the coast of Tarragona. The project has been divided into two phases. In the first, it has been planned to install four piled turbines on the sea floor about 3.5 kilometres from the coast, with a combined power output of 20 MW; in the second phase, eight floating turbines will be installed in deep waters around 30 kilometres from the coast and together they will produce a maximum power of 50 MW.
Companies interested in the project can now submit their expressions of interest to take part in the selection process of the four contracts to be awarded in the first phase of the project. To do so, they must fulfil a number of minimum requirements, which include belonging to the business sector that promotes research in the field of wind energy, presenting a prototype offshore wind turbine and providing a description of the multi-annual R&D plan to be carried out in the test station.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for companies wishing to test a wind turbine on this unique platform. The deadline for submitting the expressions of interest is 30 January 2012. Those candidates who fulfil the minimum requirements will be invited to submit their proposals by sending them the official request for proposals describing the technical specifications of the project, the contractual terms and conditions, as well as the selection criteria on which the awardees will be selected.
Finally, the IREC will conduct a competitive dialogue with those who have been selected and, at the end of May; the contracts for Phase 1 of the ZÈFIR project will be awarded.
Each of the contracts awarded for Phase 1 of the ZÈFIR project will entitle the successful bidders to install their offshore wind turbine prototype and operate it over a period of 20 years. In exchange for these exploitation rights, the manufacturers must commit to delivering a multi-annual R&D programme of their offshore wind turbine, to carrying out the project execution and to maintaining the test station.The IREC will collaborate in the development of the ZÈFIR Test Station by obtaining all of the permits needed for its construction, providing information about the site and managing the sale of the energy produced.
The IREC will pay each of the manufacturers their share of the revenue earned from the sale of energy.
Offshore Wind Staff , December 20, 2011; Image: irec