Saitec Offshore Technologies and the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) open sea test site have signed a contract to install the DemoSATH floating wind turbine off the Basque Coast, Spain.
The project will test the very first floating wind foundation connected to the Spanish grid using SATH Technology.
Marine operations are planned by the end of 2021. Once connected to the grid, DemoSATH is expected to supply electricity to almost 2,000 homes, Saitec Offshore said.
DemoSATH is a 2 MW wind turbine mounted onto a concrete floating foundation. The structure, which will be approximately 30 metres wide and approximately 67 metres long, will be assembled in the port of Bilbao. From there, it will be towed to its anchorage point in BiMEP, two miles off the coast where the sea is about 85 metres deep.
Luis González-Pinto, Chief Operations Officer of Saitec Offshore Technologies, said: “This real-scale demonstrator is a massive step for us. A major milestone that could be considered as one of the most challenging gates to go through in order to achieve commercialization. As if this was not enough, we have the chance to develop this project in our homeland using BiMEP testing area. Basque Country has a very active industry on the offshore wind sector, and we think that this project could become the spearhead for Basque floating wind sector.”
The main aim of the project is to analyse the wind turbine’s behavior under real operational and extreme conditions, collect data, and gain real-life knowledge from the construction, operation, and maintenance of the unit. The pilot project will last three and a half years: 18 months for the planning and construction of the plant, followed by a two-year operating phase.
Saitec Offshore’s partner on the project is Germany’s energy company RWE Renewables.
SATH Technology (Swinging Around Twin Hull) is based on a twin hull made of modularly prefabricated and subsequently braced concrete elements. The float can align itself around a single point of mooring according to the wind and wave direction.
David Carrascosa, Chief Technical Officer of Saitec Offshore Technologies, said: “DemoSATH Project will not only focus on technological validation, it will also prove the local content potential of SATH’s manufacturing as a result of the combination of both civil construction and offshore supply chains. We estimate that at least 70% of the contracting budget will be awarded to local industry.”