The Basque Energy Cluster’s Wind Power Sector Forum, coordinated by Siemens Gamesa, was held today, 17 December, in the presence of more than 85 people and 50 companies from the wind power sector. The conference was held in a face-to-face format in the Auditorium at the Port of Bilbao, a key player in the development of the sector in the Basque Country. The highlight of the event was a visit to the site where the prototype of the DemoSATH floating platform, an initiative led by the company Saitec Offshore Technologies, is under construction.
The session kicked off with a series of presentations related to the international expansion of the offshore wind power sector and the connection with the Basque value chain by the three driver organisations (Siemens Gamesa, Iberdrola and RWE), enabling the positive prospects of this market to be seen, along with numerous internationalisation opportunities for Basque companies. The Basque Energy Cluster ran through the activities scheduled for the international WindEurope Annual Event Bilbao 2022 with those present. The conference, to be held in April 2022, is a reference in the European sector. The Cluster also provided an update on other missions planned to the United States, France and Korea next year.
In the second part of the session, the focus of the recently announced PERTE (Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation) for Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage was reviewed, in which marine wind power stands out in the field of renewable energy and represents a special opportunity for Basque industry. Siemens Gamesa then shared its proposals for the EU Next Generation funds, and presentations on the progress of three R&D projects of special interest for the sector were made: WATEREYE (H2020), FLOAT&M (HAZITEK) and NEOMAT (ELKARTEK).
After the conference, a visit to the DemoSATH floating platform, a project led by the company Saitec Offshore Technologies and currently under construction in the port of Bilbao, was organised. The aim of this project, designed to be the first grid-connected Spanish floating marine wind turbine, is to compile data and
acquire real knowledge of aspects such as its construction, operation and maintenance over a period of three and a half years, with the first 18 months dedicated to design and construction and the following two years to its operation.
Saitec Offshore Technologies and RWE Renewables have joined forces to roll out this pilot project designed to test a marine wind turbine off the Basque coast in 2022, using SATH technology. The prototype, which will be equipped with a 2 MW turbine, will have a beam of 30 metres and length of 64 metres. It will be installed on the BIMEP testing platform, 2 nautical miles off the Basque coast, at a site with a depth of 85 metres. Hybrid lines made up of chains and fibres will be used for its anchoring. The support received from institutions, such as the Basque Energy Agency, the Port of Bilbao and the Basque Government, has facilitated the development of this initiative from the outset, which is also perfectly aligned with the Basque energy strategy.