Saitec Offshore Technologies and the open sea test site Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) have signed a contract to install Saitec's floating wind foundation off the coast of the Bilbao area in the North of Spain as part of the project named DemoSATH.
The DemoSATH will test the first floating wind foundation connected to the Spanish grid using SATH Technology.
SATH Technology (Swinging Around Twin Hull) 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.
Marine operations are planned by the end of 2021. Once connected to the grid, DemoSATH is expected to supply electricity to almost 2,000 homes.
With a 2MW wind turbine, the structure, which will be approximately 30 meters wide and approximately 67 meters long, will be assembled in the port of Bilbao.
From there, it will be towed to its anchorage point in BiMEP, 2 miles off the coast where the sea is about 85 meters deep.
BiMEP is a public company established in 2011 for the development, construction, operation, maintenance, and management of an open sea testing centre. Owned by Basque Energy Agency, EVE (75%) and Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and The Demographic Challenge through the Institute for Diversification and Energy Savings, IDAE (25%).
Luis González-Pinto, Chief Operations Officer of Saitec Offshore Technologies has said: “This real-scale demonstrator is a massive step for us. A major milestone that could be considered as one of the most challenging gates to go through in order to achieve commercialization. As if this was not enough, we have the chance to develop this project in our homeland using BiMEP testing area. Basque Country has a very active industry on the offshore wind sector, and we think that this project could become the spearhead for the Basque floating wind sector”.
David Carrascosa, Chief Technical Officer of Saitec Offshore Technologies, has declared: “DemoSATH Project will not only focus on technological validation, it will also prove the local content potential of SATH’s manufacturing as a result of the combination of both civil construction and offshore supply chains. We estimate that at least 70% of the contracting budget will be awarded to the local industry”.
The main aim of the project is to analyze the technology's behavior under real operational and extreme conditions, collect data, and gain real-life knowledge from the construction, operation, and maintenance of the unit.
The pilot project will last 3 and a half years: 18 months for the planning and construction of the plant, followed by a two-year operating phase.
The ultimate objective is to gather experience to implement improvements and optimizations to future commercial projects.