The project will test the very first floating wind foundation connected to the Spanish grid using swinging around twin-hull (SATH) technology. Marine operations are planned by the end of 2021.
SATH technology 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. The technology stands out as the ninth installed worldwide, the fifth European, and the third tested using concrete around the world.
With a 2 MW wind turbine, the structure, which will be approximately 30 meters wide and approximately 67 meters long, will be assembled in the port of Bilbao, Spain. From there, it will be towed to its anchorage point in BiMEP, two miles off the coast, where the sea is about 85 meters deep.
“This real-scale demonstrator is a massive step for us. A major milestone that could be considered as one of the most challenging gates in order to achieve commercialization,” says Luis González-Pinto, COO of Saitec.
“We have the chance to develop this project in our homeland using the BiMEP testing area. Basque Country has an active industry in the offshore wind sector, and we think that this project could become the spearhead for Basque’s floating wind sector,” he adds.
BiMEP is a public company established in 2011 for the development, construction, operation, maintenance and management of an open sea testing center. The company is owned by Basque Energy Agency, the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition, and the Demographic Challenge through the Institute for Diversification and Energy Savings.
The main goal of the DemoSATH project is to analyze the behavior of the turbine 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.
Photo: A virtual rendering of the DemoSATH project