Offshore wind energy: floating wind turbines developed by Acciona

Representatives from Spanish and Norwegian Administrations, technology centers and companies attended a demonstration of tests carried out in the El Pardo Hydrodynamics Experimental Channel (CEHIPAR).

A number of Spanish and Norwegian companies, among others, are part of the European HiPRWind project for research into offshore wind power.

An official delegation from Norway consisting of diplomats, businessmen and technology center managers visited the technical tests that ACCIONA is carrying out in the El Pardo Hydrodynamics Experimental Channel (CEHIPAR) in Madrid. The tests are on the design of floating structures that can support offshore wind turbines.

The visit, held last Friday, is one of a series of activities organized to coincide with the signature of an R&D agreement between the Foreign Ministries of Spain and Norway.

The Norwegian delegation was headed by the country’s ambassador-in-office in Madrid Anders Eide, and made up of representatives from companies and technology centers, among them Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government’s official center for support to industrial and business innovation.

ACCIONA was represented by Energy Division President Carmen Becerril and Innovation Director Pedro Párbole, together with other managers and technical personnel of the company. Also present were CIEMAT (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) Director-of Renewables Enrique Soria and other officials from the Spanish Administration.

The tests developed in CEHIPAR are part of the European HiPRWind project, carried out by ACCIONA together with around twenty other companies and technology centers from eight European countries. The objective is to find technological solutions for high-capacity offshore wind turbines on floating structures that will enable their installation in deep water.

The result of the tests in the channel will be decisive for the next phase of the project, which involves the installation of a floating platform anchored to the seabed equipped with a 1.5-MW ACCIONA Windpower turbine. The scale model used in the tests is approximately 1:10 for future offshore wind turbines of more than 10 MW.

The first floating wind turbine to be installed in Spain is expected to be operational in the second semester of 2013. It will be placed 100 meters above the seabed on the Cantabrian Sea.

The materialization of a good part of the HiPRWind project in Spain will help the country to gain access to an emerging market. Investments in floating wind power structures up to 2030 could be above 200,000 million euros worldwide.