The Basque SEAPOWER project and the race for the most powerful marine turbine

SEAPOWER pursues research and collaborative development of technologies and solutions for offshore wind.

The Basque SEAPOWER project is immersed in the development of technologies and solutions for the new generation of high-power offshore wind turbines (10MW +). SEAPOWER groups Basque companies and has the support of the Basque Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

The SEAPOWER project has begun during 2019. It is made up of 10 Basque companies, led by SENER engineering , which we talked about a few months ago . It has a budget of € 5.3M for 3 years , financed by the Hazitek Program of the Basque Government, with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

The wind sector benefits from a greater cost reduction the larger the size of the wind turbines. Therefore, the offshore alternative does not have the same logistical limitations as offshore wind. Especially, it is for the latter to road logistics, for the transport of shovels. Hence, it is the offshore wind that maintains a special race to achieve higher power turbines.

The Basque wind sector, which hosts more than 100 companies, is one of the European benchmarks in this field. And the greater power of the new generation of wind turbines directly affects many of the components and systems manufactured in Euskadi.

Current turbines and future challenges

Currently, the main manufacturers already have large wind turbines. Such is the case of the V174 of MHI-VESTAS of 9.5 MW; or from SG 10.0 of Siemens Gamesa of 10 MW; even the General Electric Haliade X prototype , which reaches 12 MW.

To get an idea, the aforementioned prototype has a height very similar to that of the Eiffel tower. And, in addition, the sector expects to reach powers per machine of between 13 and 15 MW by 2025.

However, the increase in power and size of offshore wind turbines poses new challenges for the rest of the park elements. Among those of a structural nature, the foundation (either fixed or floating), the transition piece and the tower, subjected to much greater loads. Likewise, the challenges reach the electrical power evacuation equipment.

And, in addition, all of them in a hostile environment such as the sea, with high levels of corrosion.

SEAPOWER business collaboration

The SEAPOWER project has 10 Basque companies that have decided to join forces to face the challenges mentioned and achieve new solutions. Moreover, the project is also expected to contribute to improving the positioning of the Basque industry. This way you can add more value through integral designs of solutions that incorporate your own innovations.

SEAPOWER leads SENER engineering , which will also coordinate the activities around the floating solution. The other great Basque engineering IDOM will be in charge of the fixed solution. Meanwhile, two leading companies in the manufacture of structures, HAIZEA WIND and NAVACEL , lead the packages linked to the XXL towers and the transition pieces, respectively.

Complete the consortium:

  • ALKARGO, manufacturer of transformers.
  • DITREL, developer of an innovative concept of electrical connection to the wind turbine base.
  • ERREKA, manufacturer of fixing solutions for offshore wind.
  • JASO Tower Cranes, lifting systems specialist.
  • MUGAPE, expert in anticorrosion surface coatings.
  • NAUTILUS Floating Solutions, developer of its own floating platform concept.

The consortium is also supported by two RVCTI centers (Tecnalia and Tekniker) as well as by the Energy Cluster.

SEAPOWER project differential factor

SEAPOWER represents the first large-scale collaboration in the field of offshore wind between large Basque engineering companies and manufacturers of structures and components. The engineering will bring improvements, while manufacturers will have access to the design bases. That will facilitate the conception, development and validation of new (and better) solutions for the sector.

Some of the solutions that are intended to be developed within the framework of SEAPOWER :

  • New numerical models that facilitate the definition of loads and the validation of designs.
  • Comprehensive and innovative solutions of towers, transition pieces, fixed and floating wind substructures.
  • A new generation of transformers and connectors for electrical evacuation at 66kV.
  • New bolted joint technologies for subsystems of large structures.
  • Auxiliary systems of new access and elevation that can be integrated from the first stages of manufacturing large parts
  • Coverings for protection against impacts and biofouling appropriate for each structural element.