RWE’s DemoSATH project has achieved what is said to be a significant milestone with the successful installation of its 2 MW innovative floating wind platform demonstrator in open sea conditions. The operation, carried out by the Windstaller Alliance, used its anchor handling vessel, the Normand Sapphire, along with local tugboats, to tow DemoSATH from its construction site in the Port of Bilbao to the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) test site, located 11 miles away.
Once at the 85 m deep BiMEP site, which is 2 miles offshore in the Cantabrian Sea, the hook-up operation involved connecting the six pre-laid mooring lines to the structure’s single-point mooring. Works in the BiMEP area are currently ongoing to finalise the connection of dynamic and static cable and pull-in to DemoSATH, which will enable energy export to the onshore electrical grid.
The completion of this floating installation marks a major step forward in the project's mission to harness wind power and generate sustainable electricity.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind commented: “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 [experience] from our demonstration projects are key to optimising our upcoming commercial scale projects and securing their safe delivery.”
During the 2-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 challenges of being at sea, particularly in the harsh conditions of the Cantabrian Sea.
Image: DemoSATH project being towed to its site off Bilbao (courtesy of Saitec Offshore Technologies)