At around 11 a.m. on Monday, Saitec engineering company activated the blades of the floating turbine located off the coast of Bizkaia and started to generate energy. This production has then been transported to land by a submarine cable for its subsequent distribution to the electricity grid from a substation on land, in the town of Armintza, also in Biscay. This was the first contribution of offshore wind power to Spain's energy mix.
A testimonial operation, since Saitec's turbine is built to scale and only has a capacity of 2 MW. Spain aims to generate up to 3 GW with floating wind turbines by 2030, since the depth of its waters does not allow the turbines to be anchored to the seabed. The Leioa (Bizkaia) engineering firm is planning an offshore wind farm with a precommercial generation volume of less than 50 MW and three wind turbines, also in the waters off Bizkaia. David Carrascosa, Saitec's operations director, believes that this formula will facilitate the achievement of the 3 GW target for 2030, as it will allow testing the efficiency of the equipment before making the leap to larger capacity renewable complexes.
Carrascosa reiterated in Bermeo (Bizkaia), in the presentation of the 2 MW DemoSATH prototype, the battery of claims of the wind sector to successfully address the exploitation of natural resources of the Spanish coasts. From a policy of subsidized tariffs for the first precommercial complexes, to the activation of a regulation that allows the development of the offshore business. The Madrid Government in office has already defined 19 Maritime Spatial Management Plans (POEM) but everything else is still pending. From the identification of the areas to the drafting of a regulation, to then address the timetable for the allocation of areas to be exploited.
Representatives of the German corporation RWE and the Japanese company Kansai Electric Power, Saitec's partners in the DemoSATH project, also demanded agility from the administrations for the granting of licenses, which require prior investment in environmental impact studies and orders to equipment suppliers. Not to mention the need for submarine transmission networks and onshore substations to evacuate the offshore energy to the grid.
The DemoSATH turbine will operate for two years off Armintza, in the Bimep offshore test area financed by the Basque Government's EVE company. At the presentation of the project, Basque Premier Iñigo Urkullu pointed out that dependence on fossil fuels must be reduced "as soon as possible".