The floating offshore wind project DemoSATH, led by the Spanish engineering firm Saitec Offshore Technologies in collaboration with RWE and Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), has started supplying power to the Spanish grid.
In August DemoSATH was installed offshore at the BiMEP testing area at Armintza in the Basque Country. Subsequently, the connection of the existing static seabed cable to the motion-absorbing dynamic cable, and the link to the platform itself was successfully completed. This enabled the transmission of power to the grid via the BiMEP substation.
The platform, located 2 miles off the Basque coast, features a 2 MW turbine. As a result, floating offshore wind technology is being introduced as a new renewable generation technology in Spain's energy mix for the first time. The commissioning marks the beginning of a two-year operational period to gather data about the behaviour of the SATH technology, developed by Saitec Offshore Technologies, and the monitoring of the systems installed on the platform to monitor its interaction with the surrounding ecosystem.
Specialiaed tools for the identification of birds and bats have been installed, as well as systems for monitoring marine ecosystem biodiversity (such as crustacean communities, other invertebrates, fish, and cetaceans) within the local environment. These monitoring activities will provide insights into the behaviour of groups and species around the floating offshore turbine. Additionally, the project will involve the evaluation of environmentally friendly solutions, custom-designed for SATH, which will aim to support marine biodiversity and enhance fishing resources in floating offshore wind farms.
The DemoSATH project is said to represent a significant milestone in the floating offshore wind industry, becoming Spain's first floating offshore wind turbine to connect to the electrical grid, the 5th European floating technology with a turbine of over 1 MW installed in open sea, and the 3rd concrete-based technology to reach this level of development.
The project received support received from the Spanish government through The Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy and The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology as well as from the Basque government through The Basque Business Development Agency and the Basque Energy Agency.
Image courtesy of Saitec Offshore Technologies