In collaboration with a group of Basque companies, Iberdola has launched the Marin-El R&D project with the goal of designing a new marine substation for offshore wind farms in order to expedite installation and reduce costs.
The initiative has been allocated a EUR 10 million budget and is supported by the Basque government. It also intends to offer an alternative to existing substations, which Iberdrola says are too bulky and heavy. The Marin-el project is based on the creation of a self-installing substation. The company says this would provide several advantages in the construction stage (as it would be developed 100% on dry land) and in the stages of transport and installation.
In this regard, Iberdrola and its partners have devised a pre-equipped system to secure the substation to the seabed without the help of special installation vessels, thus avoiding the costs associated to the process and various technical limitations. Iberdrola adds that the initiative will also take the environmental impact of this new type of installation into account, via an assessment based on analyzing its life cycle.
The Marin-el project is due to continue until the end of 2015.