Published: 24 February 2020 24 February 2020
In a joint pilot project called DemoSATH, RWE Renewables and Saitec Offshore Technologies will start testing a floating platform for wind turbines off the Basque Coast in 2021. SATH technology is based on a twin hull made of modularly prefabricated and subsequently braced concrete elements. The float can align itself around a single point of mooring according to the wind and wave direction.
The objective of the project is to collect data and gain real-life knowledge from the construction, operation and maintenance of the unit. The pilot project will last 3.5 years: 18 months for the planning and construction of the plant, followed by a two-year operating phase.
RWE Renewables will finance part of the project costs, contribute its offshore experience, and gain access to the resulting findings in return. Saitec Offshore Technologies provides the design and Project Management during the whole lifecycle of the development. The company is also managing the operation, maintenance and data treatment during the testing.
The focus is on the performance and on the load behaviour of the platform under all possible conditions. In addition, the partners are interested in operational experience, which is essential for the planning of future commercial wind farms. Among the things to be tested are safe and efficient solutions for vessel accessibility to the platform and for the replacement of large components.
For the prototype, the structure and the 2 MW wind turbine will be assembled in the port of Bilbao. The base of the structure will be approximately 30 metres wide and approximately 64 metres long. The platform including the turbine will be towed to its anchorage point in a test field (BIMEP) 2 miles off the coast. The sea is about 85 metres deep at this point. Hybrid mooring lines, composed by chains and fibre, anchored to the seabed will hold the floating body in position. The plant is expected to go into operation in the third quarter of 2021. The electricity generated during the project will be fed into the Spanish power grid.