Spain: IREC Signs Cooperation Agreement with EWE OSS

Spain IREC Signs Cooperation Agreement with EWE OSS

IREC and EWE OSS will exchange technological information, train engineers and cooperate technically on the ZEFIR project

The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) has signed an agreement with EWE Offshore Services & Solutions GmbH, the company that is co-owner and operating ALPHA VENTUS, the first test platform for 5 MW offshore wind turbines, located in the German North Sea and presently erecting Borkum Riffgat as second offshore wind farm. The objective of the agreement is for technical cooperation between the ALPHA VENTUS and ZEFIR projects, the offshore wind power test station that IREC is planning to install on the Spanish coast.

This agreement establishes a cooperation framework between the two European offshore wind turbine test platforms. The main aims of this cooperation are: a) to exchange technological information and knowledge during the construction and operating phases of the offshore wind turbines and farms, b) to train engineers who will work in this new industry of tremendous growth in northern Europe and the US, and c) to conduct research and technology development in this field together. The agreement allows IREC to benefit from the experience of the wind farm currently in operation in Germany, which has enabled the industry in Germany and the rest of Europe to experiment and validate its technological solutions to take new models of wind turbine being implemented in the North Sea to market.

At the end of 2012, the wind power capacity installed in European seas (the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantic) was 4,993 MW, which represents an investment of more than 15,000 million Euros. Another 4,460 MW are currently in construction with the investment of an additional 13,400 million Euros.

ZEFIR Test Station is the project driven by IREC that will be located on the coast of Tarragona and will be developed in two phases. The first phase will consist of the installation of a maximum of four wind turbines anchored to the seabed approximately 3 kilometres from the coast, with a total output not exceeding 20 MW. The second phase will consist of a maximum of eight floating wind turbines, which will be installed 20 kilometres off the coast, making a maximum of 50 MW.

IREC and EWE OSS reached this agreement with a willingness to exchange information on technological research on offshore wind power, in addition to cooperating in the development of the market in this field. The agreement, from 1 March 2013 to 1 March 2015, also includes training engineers on offshore projects.

 The Director General of IREC, Antoni Martínez, highlighted that “signing this agreement is an important step in the gradual consolidation of the ZEFIR project, by uniting efforts and technology strategy with the emblematic ALPHA VENTUS benchmark project co-owned and operated by the company EWE OSS, which is part of the EWE energy group in the North of Germany. Combining the two offshore wind power test platforms, in the North Sea and the Mediterranean, within a cooperation framework, is an important milestone in the development of offshore wind power in southern Europe.” Jürgen Kröning, Managing Director of EWE OSS and member of the IREC Scientific Committee, stated that this cooperation will lead to a mutual benefit for both companies with respect to offshore experience in project and operation phase as is for IREC and to participate in scientific research for example in floating offshore structures as is for EWE OSS. “We are very glad to have such a competent partner for further development of offshore technology and future business in southern Europe”.


Press release, March 10, 2013; Image: alpha ventus