Developer Plans Two Offshore Wind Projects Using 18-MW Turbines

Developer Plans Two Offshore Wind Projects Using 18-MW Turbines

A joint venture (JV) created to develop large-scale offshore wind projects said it plans to use what at present would be the world’s largest wind turbines at two projects located between Spain and Portugal.

IberBlue Wind, a JV that includes Ireland’s Simply Blue Group along with Spanish companies Proes Consultores and FF New Energy Ventures, on April 11 announced that as many as 109 turbines—each designed to produce 18 MW of power—would be installed at the Juan Sebastián Elcano and Creoula floating offshore wind projects off the coasts of Pontevedra and Viana do Castelo.

IberBlue on Tuesday said the two wind farms would cover 530 square miles in total. The installations, which together will have 1.96 GW of generation capacity, will provide power for the Iberian Electricity Market, which is shared by Spain and Portugal.

The names Juan Sebastián Elcano and Creoula were chosen for the projects as a tribute to two historic training ships that are part of the Spanish and Portuguese navies.

$4.4 Billion Investment

The companies said the projects represent investment of more than $4.4 billion. The groups said the two wind farms will create more than 5,000 jobs during the construction phase. IberBlue said joint development of the projects would lower costs by about 32%, compared to developing the projects separately.

The JV in a news release did not disclose what company would provide the wind turbines. General Electric recently announced it was developing an 18-MW technology. Several Chinese companies also are working on larger offshore wind turbine designs, including an 18-MW model from CSSC Haizhuang.

“It is very exciting to develop cross-border floating offshore wind projects and to collaborate with both Portuguese and Spanish governments on this positive opportunity for both countries,” said Adrián de Andrés, vice president of IberBlue Wind. “We have already engaged with both authorities when we presented our projects to the Spanish and Portuguese authorities, and we look forward to continued engagement.”

The JV in a news release said that the Juan Sebastián Elcano project will include 29 wind turbines, of 18 MW each, which will give it a nominal capacity of 522 MW. The wind turbines, installed on floating platforms anchored to the seabed, will extend from As Mariñas to A Guarda, across an area of 117 square kilometers (about 45 square miles). The group said visual impacts will be reduced because the farm will be built between 20 to 35 kilometers from the coast.

The location for Juan Sebastián Elcano is within the delimitations recently established by Spanish authorities under its Maritime Space Management Plans, or POEM, which includes the North Atlantic demarcation zone known as NOR-1.

The Creoula installation will have 80 turbines of 18 MW each, for an installed capacity of 1,440 MW. The project will cover 413 square kilometers (about 160 square miles) and be between 20 to 40 kilometers from shore.

Creoula also is sited within the areas proposed by the Portuguese officials for offshore wind farm development. It is part of Portugal’s plan to install at least 10 GW of offshore wind generation capacity this decade.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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