The Agència Valenciana de la Innovació (AVI) has financed the development of a new foundation system for marine wind turbines, designed specifically for port facilities, which is also capable of internally storing the generated energy, which guarantees the supply of electricity even when the wind is not blowing.
Rover Maritime, a Valencian construction company specialized in maritime-port infrastructures, has led this strategic project, baptized as Wind-Store, which has been executed for two years in collaboration with Ingeniería Avanzada de Obras Marítimas (Ingeomar), Geozone Asesores and Seaplace. In addition, the Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the ValenciaPort Foundation have also participated as partners.
This new technology offers solutions to two of the main obstacles that have so far slowed the deployment of offshore wind energy in Europe. The first is geological, and is that the characteristics of the Spanish coasts, with a very short continental shelf and great depths to the seabed, make it difficult to install traditional wind power systems.
Another disadvantage is addes: the intermittency of the green energy. Wind turbines only produce electricity when the wind blows, and with an amount dependent on its strength, so that the supply cannot be delegated exclusively to wind energy.
The new system designed by this public-private consortium, with the support of the AVI, proposes innovative solutions to both problems. Thus, facing the complexity of installing wind farms in the open sea, Wind-Store proposes to introduce wind energy in ports, both in newly designed facilities and in existing ones, also incorporating an internal energy storage system. In this way, the renewable energy left over in times of low can be accumulated and used later, even if the wind is not blowing.