Developed by Saitec Offshore Technologies in collaboration with Germany’s RWE Offshore Wind and Japan’s Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), DemoSATH features a unique design called the SATH concept (Swinging Around Twin Hull). This design comprises a concrete twin-hull barge structure made of modular, prefabricated components. A notable feature is its single point of mooring, which allows the platform to align itself with the current and wave direction.
The 2 MW turbine was assembled at the port of Bilbao and towed to BiMEP, an open-sea test site two miles offshore, where the water depth is 85 meters. Hybrid mooring lines made of chains and fibers anchor the platform to the seabed.
Impact on Spain’s energy landscape
The DemoSATH project began supplying electricity to Spain’s national grid in September 2023, effectively incorporating floating offshore wind technology into the Spanish energy mix for the first time. Thanks to its 2 MW turbine, the platform can generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of approximately 2,000 Spanish households.
Recognizing the critical importance of ecological balance, specialized tools for monitoring bird and bat activities, along with marine biodiversity monitoring systems, have been installed on the platform. These initiatives aim to better understand the project’s interaction with the surrounding ecosystem.
Stakeholders and partnerships
The success of DemoSATH has been bolstered by crucial contributions from supply chain companies and institutional support from various government bodies. These include the Spanish Government through The Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE) and The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), as well as the Basque Government through agencies like SPRI, BEAZ, and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE).
Future goals and aspirations
David Carrascosa, Chief Operations Officer at Saitec Offshore Technologies, stated that the project serves as a testing ground for future large-scale operations in floating wind energy. DemoSATH will undergo a two-year operational period to collect essential data on the SATH technology and its environmental impact. Plans are also in place to evaluate environmentally friendly solutions designed to support marine biodiversity and enhance fishing resources in floating offshore wind farms.