Saitec Offshore Technologies and RWE have reached a new milestone in the DemoSATH project with the successful launch operation of the floating unit.
The project is making great strides for installation later this summer. Over the next few months, the underwater dynamic cable will be deployed to the installation site and the float will be towed to be connected to it, as well as to the mooring lines previously installed at the end of April.
The loading and launching operations were carried out at the wharf of Punta Sollana, in the port of Bilbao (Spain), where the prestressed concrete platform was previously built and assembled, and equipped with a 2 MW turbine.
First, the DemoSATH unit was loaded onto the deck of the semi-submersible barge using self-propelled modular transporters. The barge was then ballasted lower in the water until the DemoSATH unit became buoyant, after which it was towed.
Araceli Martínez, Head of Engineering at Saitec Offshore Technologies: “This is a big step forward for the DemoSATH project. The loading and floating operations were an important milestone as they were the first of their kind performed for the SATH floating offshore wind turbine. The operations were carefully planned between all parties involved and the final performance was excellent. Once afloat, it took less than 45 minutes to safely moor the DemoSATH wind turbine to dock. After the successful launch in the port of Bilbao, we are proud to announce that the demonstrator is ready to become the first floating wind turbine to be commissioned on the mainland Spanish network in the coming months.
Martin Dörnhöfer, Floating Wind Manager at RWE Renewables: “We are happy to see that DemoSATH has been launched safely and successfully. This is another important step towards the offshore commissioning of the floating turbine later this year. For us at RWE, this is also another step on our way to unlocking the great potential of floating wind globally, especially in countries with deeper coastal waters, such as the United States. United, France, the United Kingdom, Norway and – certainly – Spain. Our goal is to have one gigawatt of floating wind capacity under construction or in operation by 2030. Together with our other pilot projects, DemoSATH allows us to gain early experience for our future developments. Its innovative concrete-based platform further expands our knowledge of innovative floating wind concepts.
Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, participated in the event and underlined: “These companies have shown a pioneering spirit in developing this project and proving this technology . We now want to work with companies like this to help them move forward and make floating wind a reality.
Saitec Offshore Technologies and RWE Renewables have entered into a partnership to develop the DemoSATH project in 2020. The 2 MW unit using SATH technology will be installed in a test field (BIMEP) located two miles from the Basque coast, where the sea has a depth of 85 meters. The SATH design allows for the precasting of concrete elements and uses a single point mooring system that allows the structure to wrap around its mooring and passively align with the direction of waves and current. The objective of this demonstrator project is to test the technology for its industrialization for offshore wind farms in deep waters.