Wind energy in Spain: first offshore wind farm project

Equinor will invest more than 860 million euros to install in the Canary Islands first large offshore wind power farm in Spain, a decision adopted after the Norwegian company has been authorized to settle in the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC).

As reported by the regional government, this investment is the result of actions undertaken in recent years to publicize the ability of the islands to become a benchmark for the development of offshore wind turbines in Spain and Europe.

Also, the interest of Equinor suffered in December 2017 after the contacts of the Canarian president, Fernando Clavijo, and the Minister of Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge, Pedro Ortega, with companies from the offshore sector that develop their activity in the national market as in the European.

Ortega said that the future installation of the multinational “is an important support to the energy policy that we have developed from the Government of the Canary Islands in order to move forward to consolidate a more sustainable model and position the Canary Islands as a spearhead in the development of technology offshore wind, taking advantage of the endogenous advantages of the archipelago and the interest that the companies in the sector have in investing in new R + D + i projects “.

In addition, the counselor added that apart from Equinor there are more applications from companies that are interested in using the Canary Islands as a test bank.

The company Equinor follows the trail of other companies in the sector, linked to development and research, which have chosen the Canary Islands to test and test new prototypes of offshore wind only in the world, taking advantage of the advantages offered by the islands for the development of this type of energy.

This is the case of the first marine wind turbine in Spain, with 5 MW of power, which is installed in front of things in Jinámar (Gran Canaria), and the first floating wind platform in Spain designed by a consortium of international companies and funds European, that same month will be tested in the experimental area of ??the Canary Oceanic Platform.

For its part, the floating marine park projected by Equinor includes an installed capacity of 200 MW, which is equivalent to one third of the total renewable power installed on the islands.

In the case of starting the formalities for its construction this year 2019, as planned by the company, its implementation could take place in 2024 and generate between 120 and 200 jobs during the 20 years of life of the park, in addition to jobs of a temporary and limited nature that would involve the previous phase of processing and construction.

For this, it is necessary to delimit the offshore wind areas in the Canary Islands as soon as possible, in which the exploitation and use of the wind resource should be centralized, without affecting the development of other complementary marine activities.

Meanwhile, the Government of the Canary Islands has repeatedly requested the State to define an adequate framework to facilitate the implementation of new projects.

In this sense, Ortega has sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Energy of the Ministry of Energy Transition reiterating the request to create an interministerial working group in order to improve coordination among all the institutions involved and reduce the deadlines for obtaining permissions

In addition, the Government of the Canary Islands has submitted to the State a preliminary study that includes the delimitation of three preliminary areas or zones in the southeast of Gran Canaria, in Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura, which meet the ideal conditions of wind, depth, topography and Closeness to the development of offshore wind energy, although it is necessary to create the working group to evaluate them in detail before acting.

Finally, the acting councilor recalled that his department is going to ask the State that, within the electrical planning of the next few years, the necessary infrastructures that will have to be created in the electrical network of the islands to channel this wind energy be included.