The Ministry of the Environment last month resolved that the latest prototype of a marine wind tower that is almost ready for installation beside the groundbreaking Canary Islands Oceanic Research Platform, known as PLOCAN in the Jinamar Bay, will not need to produce an environmental impact assessment, which, however, they pointed out, does not exempt the developer from obtaining the required environmental authorisations. The Canary Islands will be once again a pioneer in the installation of offshore wind generators in deep water without the need to use heavy cargo ships for transport, which is expected to save 40% of the usual costs attached to this type of installation.
The construction of this tower prototype for wind turbines will allow testing and demonstrate of the installation, manufacturing and operational behavior of the latest Elisa technology. The company is developing this first prototype offshore wind power, in the southern most region of Europe, under the seventh European Union program. The main advantage of this telescopic, self-elevating and gravity-cemented tower model is that it facilitates the assembly of wind turbines in marine parks, without the need to use conventional “jacket” structures which entail high costs. The tower will generate 5 megawatts and will be installed in the PLOCAN (Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands) to 30 meters depth, with foundation that has been constructed at the port of Arinaga.
5MW OFFSHORE WIND TURBINE PROTOTYPE
PROJECT FUNDED BY H2020 PROGRAM
Arinaga and PLOCAN (Gran Canaria). 2015-2017
The ELISA prototype, which is currently under construction in Arinaga on the south east coast of Gran Canaria, is set to become the first bottom-fixed offshore wind turbine completely installed with full independence of costly and scarce heavy lift vessels.
The ELISA technology involves a novel self-floating GBS foundation system which integrates an autolift telescopic tower, and can be fully assembled on dock. The telescopic configuration of the tower brings down the centre of gravity during the towed self-floating transport, allowing the bottom foundation platform to temporarily act as a self-stable floating barge over which the complete system can be preassembled inshore.
Once ballasted to the rest on the seabed, the tower can be lifted to its final position by means of cables and conventional out-of-the-shelf heavy-lift strand jacks which are reused to lift each tower level successively. All works are carried out from a single access platform.
Expected cost reduction capabilities – as due diligence by both benchmark developers and offshore turbine manufacturers – exceed 35% when compared to Jackets or XXL Monopiles in deep waters (35m plus). It is a system excellently suited for the next generation of offshore wind turbines thanks to its direct scalability, based only on conventional and readily available equipment and means.
The technology has been developed and certified following all standards of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
In short, the prototype culminates a 7-year development and demonstration process, which has been supported by benchmark R&D institutions such as CDTI and the Horizon 2020 program by the EU commission under the ELISA/ELICAN projects. Those projects led by ESTEYCO, also counts with the collaboration of three partners leaders in their respective fields such as: GAMESA, ALE Heavy-Lift and DEWI-UL.
The project focuses on the foundation system and prototyping. In complementarity, the Elican Project was launched in order to provide the construction of the tower and the installation of an operational offshore wind turbine.
The Elisa Project has a total budget of 3,568,375 € and was selected for the sme-instrument phase 2 in march 2015. The action started in june, 2015 and will last until 2017.
THE ELICAN PROJECT WILL BE DEVELOPED BY DIFFERENT COMPANIES THAT JOINED FORCES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROTOTYPE:
ESTEYCO – With over 40 years experience in civil engineering project and works and after 8 years of development of the Elisa Technology, Esteyco will be in charge of the global structural design – for the tower and foundation as well as for the auxiliary equipment – and its manufacturing, along with the civil works taking place in the dry-dock and the coordination of the installation operations and the project management.
ADWEN OFFSHORE, S.L. – The joint venture between Gamesa and Areva, two global leaders that have come together to create a major player in the offshore wind industry, will be in charge of the turbine supply and load calculation process.
ALE HEAVYLIFT – The specialist company in heavylifting solutions will be in charge of marine operations and tower lifting.
DEWI (A UL COMPANY) – The Deutsches Windenergie Institut provides specialized services for wind turbine and components testing and monitoring, and will be in charge of the supply and installation of measuring equipment and processing of the test and operation data.
THE ELICAN PROJECT HAS A TOTAL BUDGET OF 17,107,301.25 € AND WAS SELECTED FOR THE H2020-LCE-2015-2 CALL IN SEPTEMBER 2015. THE ACTION STARTED IN JANUARY, 2016 AND WILL LAST UNTIL DECEMBER, 2018.
Source: ELISA – ELICAN PROJECT – Esteyco