The DemoSATH floating offshore wind project, led by the Basque engineering company Saitec Offshore Technologies, with the collaboration of the German company RWE Offshore Wind and the Japanese company Kepco, has reached a new milestone with the start of power generation from the BiMEP laboratory, located off the coast of Biscay (Armintza).
DemoSATH represents a significant milestone within the floating offshore wind industry, becoming the first floating offshore wind turbine to be connected to the grid in Spain. In addition, it is the fifth European floating technology with a turbine of more than 1 MW installed offshore (it is 2MW); and the third technology in concrete to reach that level of development.
Today saw the start-up of the supply of floating offshore wind energy to the Spanish electricity grid through DemoSATH, a project led by Saitec and in which the German company RWE and the Japanese company Kepco (The Kansaid Electric Power) are collaborating.
Last August, DemoSATH was installed in the BiMEP offshore test area (Armintza, Basque Country). Subsequently, operations were completed to connect the existing static cable on the seabed with the dynamic cable. The latter was designed to absorb wave-induced movements of the platform and was then connected to the turret located at the bow of the platform.
Since then, the necessary work has been carried out for its commissioning. In this way, the energy generated is fed into the power grid through the BiMEP substation, converting wind power into clean renewable energy.
In the energy mix
The DemoSATH platform, located 2 miles off the Basque coast, has a turbine that can generate up to 2MW of renewable energy. Its annual production is equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 2,000 homes in a year. As a result of this project, for the first time in Spain, floating offshore wind is being introduced into the energy mix as a renewable generation technology.
The start-up marks the beginning of a two-year operational period to collect data on the behavior of the SATH technology, developed by Saitec, and monitoring with the help of systems installed on the wind turbine to learn about its interaction with the environment.
These include intelligent systems for identifying and preventing collisions with birds and bats, as well as systems for monitoring the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem (such as communities of crustaceans, other invertebrates, fish and cetaceans). These monitoring activities will provide information on the behavior of different groups and species around the floating offshore wind turbine.
Saitec's Director of Operations, David Carrascosa, has indicated that the DemoSATH power generation marks a high point in the project. "We are proud to be the first in Spain to bring renewable energy with a floating wind turbine. This will be our test bed to gain knowledge based on real experience and apply it to future larger-scale projects."