DemoSATH floating wind power pioneer takes to sea

An innovative floating wind turbine has been successfully installed in open waters off the coast of Spain.

The deployment in the Canabrian Sea, two miles offshore, represents a significant milestone in the delivery of the DemoSATH project, which seeks to demonstrate the energy-generating potential of floating wind platforms.

The operation was carried out using the Windstaller Alliance’s anchor handling vessel, the Normand Sapphire, along with local tugboats.

Together, they towed the 2MW DemoSATH from the construction site in the Port of Bilbao to the BiMEP test site, located 11 miles away.

Once at the 85-metre deep BiMEP site, the hook-up operation involved connecting six pre-laid mooring lines to the structure’s single-point mooring turret.

The completion of this floating installation marks a major step forward in the project’s mission to harness wind power and generate sustainable electricity.

DemoSATH is expected to generate the equivalent electricity needs of 2,000 Spanish households a year.

David Carrascosa, chief operations officer at Saitec Offshore Technologies, said: “This milestone in the installation of the DemoSATH floating offshore wind project validates the years of steady commitment, resilience, and teamwork.

“Along the journey we have overcome some challenges that now serve as valuable lessons for future projects. We are proud of the achievements of our team, and the combined efforts of our collaborators.

“It’s thrilling to witness the DemoSATH project set sail, playing an integral role in the progression of renewable energy.”

Works in the BiMEP area are ongoing to finalise the connection of dynamic and static cable, and pull-in to the DemoSATH’s turret, which will enable the energy to be exported to the onshore electrical grid.

As a partnership project, DemoSATH combines Saitec Offshore Technologies’ engineering design skills, with RWE’s expertise in the offshore wind industry, and the experience brought by Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), which joined the project earlier this year.

In addition, the capabilities of multiple other companies are involved in the project, along with the institutional support from the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), and the Basque Government institutions EVE and SPRI, which has ensured the success of the project.

Sven Utermöhlen, chief executive of RWE Offshore Wind, said: “The offshore installation of the DemoSATH project is an important milestone on our way to the commissioning of RWE’s second floating demonstration project.

“We see great potential for floating wind farms around the world as they unlock opportunities in countries with deeper coastal waters.

“As a floating pioneer the first-hand learnings from our demonstration projects are key to us optimising our upcoming commercial scale projects and securing their safe delivery.”

Kazumi Ogura, executive officer at KEPCO’s Renewable Energy Division, said: “We take great pride in our achievement of pioneering a new frontier in offshore wind power generation by installing the innovative floating wind platform demonstrator, thanks to major contribution from our partners.”

During the two-year operational period at the BiMEP site, the SATH technology for floating offshore wind developed by Saitec Offshore Technologies will be tested, and the tasks related to its operation and maintenance requirements will be analysed.

The project also aims to gain deeper insights into the metocean challenges in open sea, particularly in the harsh conditions of the Cantabrian Sea. Additionally, the collection of data will provide valuable knowledge regarding the coexistence of the platform with the environment and other maritime activities.

With the installation of the unit now complete, the DemoSATH project will enter a period of commissioning, which will be followed by the operational phase when electricity generation will commence.

The floating wind platform has been designed and equipped to harness the power of the wind in deep coastal waters and convert it into clean, renewable energy.

It is claimed this technology holds “immense promise” for reducing carbon emissions and contributing to the renewable energy goals of Spain and other countries around the world.

Main image: The DemoSATH floating wind farm is tugged into place


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