Ferrovial, a global infrastructure operator, has been selected for the manufacturing and assembly of the SATH floating platform in the DemoSATH project, led by Saitec Offshore Technologies in collaboration with RWE Renewables.
In February, RWE Renewables and Saitec Offshore Technologies announced they were partnering to test the floating platform for wind turbines off the Spanish Basque Coast. The DemoSATH project will deploy the first multi-megawatt floating offshore wind turbine connected to the country’s grid. RWE Renewables will finance part of the project costs and contribute its extensive experience as the second largest player in offshore wind globally, gaining access to the resulting findings in return.
The construction package will last 14 months and covers site preparation, concrete precasting, procurement of steel bulkheads and assembly of the floater along with management of the supply chain. Work will start later this month under strict health and safety rules to protect against COVID-19, and will create around 60 local jobs during the peak of the project.
“Our ambition is to rapidly advance towards commercial production,” says David Carrascosa, CTO of Saitec Offshore Technologies. “DemoSATH is therefore not only proving the technical feasibility of the SATH technology but is also demonstrating how these structures can be mass-produced. Ferrovial is the perfect partner to rely on and to ensure we meet our objectives.”
The SATH Technology floater is based on a twin hull, made of modularly prefabricated and subsequently braced concrete elements. It can align itself around a single point of mooring depending to the wind and wave direction. For the prototype, the structure and the 2 MW wind turbine will be assembled in the port of Bilbao. The base of the structure will be approximately 30 meters wide and approximately 64 meters long. The platform, including the turbine, will be towed to its anchorage point in a test field 2 miles off the coast at a depth of 85 meters. Hybrid mooring lines, composed by chains and fiber, anchored to the seabed will hold the floating body in position. The unit is expected to go into operation early 2022.
The objective of the project is to collect data and gain real-life knowledge from the construction, operation and maintenance of the unit. DemoSATH will test the offshore behavior of the platform in addition to the construction procedure to be used in the future for mass production. The various sections of the floater will be first precast and then assembled in order to prove the efficiency of the industrial fabrication conceived by Saitec Offshore Technologies for upcoming commercial windfarm developments.
The DemoSATH project will spend 90% of its construction budget with the local supply chain – less than 50 kilometers away from the site.