The race for floating offshore wind energy off the Spanish coast has already begun with the installation in the waters of the Basque Country of the country's first wind turbine of these characteristics, promoted by the Basque engineering firm Saitec in alliance with two energy companies: Germany's RWE Offshore Wind and Japan's Kepco. RWE Offshore is a subsidiary of RWE, which was very popular in Asturias in 2000 and 2001 because it was one of the multinationals that tried to buy the Asturian company Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico during the bidding war that was unleashed on this company at that time.
The DemoSATH floating offshore wind farm, which has just been connected to the grid and has begun to generate electricity, is a prototype of 2 megawatts of power, anchored 3.7 kilometers offshore off the coast of Armintza (Vizcaya). With the results and data provided by this installation, its promoters intend to undertake a second project, called Geroa, equipped with three floating wind turbines of 15 megawatts each, which is expected to be put into production in 2025.
The wind turbine now inaugurated is 75 meters high and occupies an area 30 meters wide and 67 meters long. As is the case in Asturias and the rest of Spain (where there are also plans to install this type of complex), the only option for taking advantage of offshore wind resources in the Basque Country are floating platforms, as the waters are deep (85 meters deep in the case of the Armintza wind turbine), where wind farms founded on the seabed are not viable.
Saitec engineering has equipped the equipment with intelligent systems to try to minimize bird collisions with the blades by emitting sounds to scare them away and automatic turbine stops in the event of an imminent collision, as well as systems to study the effect on the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem. The environmental impact is criticized by conservationists and fishermen. In Asturias, three areas have been identified for the possible location of wind turbines (two in the west and another in front of the central area) at least 14 kilometers from the coast.
DuPont expects aid for its decarbonization and for the use of regenerated industrial water.
The multinational chemical company DuPont seeks to "align itself" with the Principality to "carry out projects with which to be 100% sustainable in water, waste, energy and emissions" at its Tamón plant, said yesterday the company's president in Spain and Portugal, Ángela Santiantes, after meeting with the new councilor for Ecological Transition, Industry and Economic Development, Nieves Roqueñí. DuPont aspires to obtain financial backing from the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) for industrial decarbonization, coordinated by the Asturian Luis Ángel Colunga, and which in October will announce its first line of aid worth 1,000 million euros. Likewise, the US company plans to consume green hydrogen produced by EDP in the future electrolysis plant at Aboño, which is expected to start up in 2025. "However, everything depends on the final conditions and that the rules of the game are attractive for that project to be profitable," Santianes pointed out. Roqueñí pointed out that DuPont "is a key company for Asturias" that faces "very important challenges of ecological decarbonization". Specifically, the minister pointed out that the multinational has "very interesting projects in circular economy, especially in the use of regenerated industrial water".