German utility RWE and its partners, Saitec Offshore Technologies and Japanese company Kansai Electric Power, have begun operations at DemoSATH, a demo floating offshore wind project in Spain.

Located two miles (3.2km) from the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) testing area at Armintza in the Basque Country, the project features one turbine with 2MW of power-generating capacity. It was installed last month and is expected to generate enough clean energy for nearly 2,000 Spanish homes annually.

The demo project is being introduced as a new renewable generation technology in the country for the first time. It is also the fifth European floating technology featuring a turbine with more than 1MW of capacity and the third concrete-based technology to have achieved this level of development.

The turbine has been connected to an existing static seabed cable to supply the generated power to the electric grid through the BiMEP substation. It will have an operational period of two years for collecting data related to the behaviour of Saitec-developed SATH technology and its interaction with the surrounding ecosystem.

SATH is a floating offshore wind platform concept that uses the established oil and gas-based single-point mooring system, a hybrid transition piece, a frame structure, horizontal twin hulls, a heave plate and conical edges. The platform has been designed to face the wind and uses reinforced concrete to extend the operational life of the project.

RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen said: “We are glad to see that DemoSATH has been successfully commissioned. For us at RWE, it is also another milestone on our way to unlock the great potential of floating wind globally, especially in countries with deeper coastal waters like the US, France, the UK, Norway and, certainly, Spain.

“Our ambition is to be a market-leading floating wind player who safely develops, builds and operates cost-competitive, commercial-scale floating wind projects around the world.

“Jointly with our other demonstration project, DemoSATH enables us to gain early experience for our future commercial-scale developments. Its unique concrete-based platform and single-point mooring design further broaden our knowledge on innovative floating wind concepts.”

The demo project was supported by contributions from supply chain companies in the country, while the government supported it through the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology.

The local government of Basque supported the project through the Basque Business Development Agency, BEAZ and the Basque Energy Agency.