A FLOATING wind turbine capable of powering about 2,000 homes has been set up off the Basque coast to make it Spain’s first offshore wind energy collector.
Tests are already taking place on the two megawatt turbine near the town of Armintza to check out its environmental impact and how efficient it is on the long run.
The turbine’s 96 metre rotors are especially designed to capture offshore wind energy hoisted on a floating platform two miles off the coast.
Known as a DemoSATH platform, the wind turbine was designed by Spanish company Saitec.
German company RWE made the project a reality and Japanese Kansai Electric Power provided expertise in the energy field.
Its commissioning last August marks the beginning of a two-year period when experts will gather data to understand how it interacts with the surrounding ecosystem.
The floating platform is equipped with tools to identify birds and birds as well as systems to monitor fish and shellfish in the area.
The powerful renewable energy source is linked to the shore by a motion absorbing dynamic cable, its creators said in a statement.
“We are proud of the work accomplished and of being the pioneers in Spain in providing renewable energy with a floating wind turbine,” David Carrascosa, Chief Operations Officer at Saitec Offshore Technologies said.
“This will be our testing ground to gain knowledge based on real-world experience to apply it in future to larger-scale projects.”
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind said it was ‘another milestone on our way to unlock the great potential of floating wind globally’.
He hopes it will now be able to be set up in other countries with deeper water like the US, France, UK and Norway.
“Our ambition is to be a market leading floating wind player that safely develops, builds, and operates cost-competitive, commercial-scale floating wind projects around the world,” Utermöhlen said.
He pointed to its concrete base design and single point mooring as the key to its success.
Finally, Kazumi Ogura, Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Division at Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. said it was ‘an honour’ to be part of the project.
“We are looking forward to applying the lessons learned from this project towards the advancement of a zero-carbon society,” Ogura said.
The turbine is only the fifth offshore project of this type in the whole of the EU.
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