A 1:6 prototype of the BlueSATH floating wind platform has been installed and commissioned in its final deployment site in El Abra del Sardinero (Santander, Spain).
The Spanish engineering company Saitec Offshore Technologies has towed the device from Astander’s Pontejos Dock, where it was moored for its set-up, towards its destination 800 metres away off Cantabrian coast. The pre-laid mooring lines were retrieved from the seabed and the platform hook-up was accomplished in less than 3 hours.
Testing will take place in real sea environment with the deployment of a 1:6 scaled prototype of a 10 MW wind turbine using SATH floating technology, (Swinging Around Twin Hull) an innovative, competitive and cost efficient solution for theoffshore wind industry which has been validated in several water tank tests since 2014.
The location in El Abra del Sardinero has been chosen due to its ideal characteristics to carry out the tests as it offers scaled conditions that are perfectly adapted to the BlueSATH platform.
David Carrascosa, CTO Saitec Offshore Technologies, has commented that this is ‘the definitive step to test the technology in real conditions’. He has also affirmed that this kind of energy has a very high local content, so it is a lever to generate employment. In addition, he has remarked that this is an emerging market that has huge possibilities by removing the depth barriers. And he concluded by saying that "we are facing a very good opportunity for Spain to once again be a pioneer in renewables".
The BlueSATH tests conclusions will be applied to a subsequent full-scale DemoSATH (2MW) version. A project that has the support of RWE Renewables and that will be installed in the Basque Platform for Marine Energies (BIMEP) in Armintza in 2021.
By Jake Frith