The BlueSATH floating wind platform has now been towed offshore, hooked up, and commissioned at the El Abra del Sardinero site, 800m off the Cantabrian coast near Santander. Spanish engineering company Saitec Offshore Technologies retrieved mooring lines, already positioned on the seabed, and completed the hook-up operation in less than three hours.
Tests will now be carried out using a 1:6 scaled prototype of a 10-MW wind turbine using Swinging Around Twin Hull (SATH) technology, a concept that has already been validated in tank tests. The El Abra del Sardinero site off the Spanish coast is thought to be an ideal real-life testing location, with scaled conditions that are well-suited to the BlueSATH trials.
The results of the tests will then be used in the engineering and commissioning of a 2-MW full-scale DemoSATH in a project supported by RWE Renewables in which the plant will be installed in the Basque Platform for Marine Energies in Armnitza in 2021.
Saitec Offshore Technologies’ David Carrascosa, CTO, noted the huge potential offered by this new technology in which depth of water is no longer potentially a constraint. Describing the project as “the definitive step to test the technology in real conditions”, he noted that this type of renewable energy has a high local content and therefore provides a lever for generating employment. “We are facing a very good opportunity for Spain to once again be a pioneer in renewables,” he declared.