Installation of a prototype of the ELISA self-installing offshore wind turbine, developed by a consortium led by Esteyco Energia in Spain, has been postponed until September.
Construction of the prototype’s foundation has been completed, but a spokesperson for the project said that due to the prevailing trade winds in Gran Canaria in summer, the consortium “has decided to wait for other wind windows in September” before towing the foundation into place.
“After that, we will continue with the assembly process including the turbine and other auxiliary elements,” said the ELISA spokesperson.
It is expected that the prototype will not begin to generate energy until January 2018 at the earliest.
The EU-funded project has seen the researchers develop the concept of a self-installing offshore wind turbine that can be pre-assembled and pre-commissioned onshore and then towed into position with the turbine in place.
The foundation was manufactured in a dry-dock at the Port of Arinaga; once completed, the entire assembly will be transported to its final location at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), where it will be installed.
The consortium describes it as the first bottom-fixed offshore wind turbine installed without the need for heavy-lift vessels. It uses a gravity-based foundation and an innovative telescoping tower. Each unit – including the platform, tower and turbine – is pre-assembled onshore and then the entire unit is towed to its open-water site using tugs, where the platform is secured to the sea bed and the tower raised.