Portugal’s plans for offshore renewables

CorPower joined an elite panel of marine energy experts in Viana do Castelo, in northern Portugal, to discuss the region’s ambitious plan to become an epicenter of offshore renewable energy.

The Alto Minho region is positioned to receive a series of major investments in marine energies, taking advantage of the “great production potential” of the Atlantic coast.

The municipality was reportedly approached by several companies pledging investments totaling around € 1 billion to create new marine renewable energy projects, spurring job creation in shipbuilding, metallurgy and many other supply chains. .

Plans are also underway to complete the installation of an “International Center for Energy Testing at Sea” by 2026, funded by the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR) to help support the surge of activity. The center will not only serve businesses, but will also serve as a knowledge repository for universities, polytechnics and research laboratories.

The recent international conference on offshore renewable energies and the challenges of decarbonization was organized by the mayor of Viana do Castelo, José Maria da Cunha Costa. The director of CorPower in Portugal, Miguel Silva, joined the representatives of Ocean Winds, an alliance between EDP Renováveis ​​and Engie, the Spanish Acciona Energia, the German Baywa RE, the French Total and the Danish turbine producer Vestas.

In addition to significant natural environmental benefits, other key attractions of Portugal’s north coast include a strong and firmly established skill base in the metallurgical and naval industries, including the construction and charter of support vessels and maintenance. future offshore platforms.

The region is uniquely positioned for wind, wave and solar power projects, and with the rapidly evolving energy paradigm, increasing attention is being paid to the future role of renewables in the production of green hydrogen. The site also has enormous potential for the scientific community, as a reference space at European level, for studies related to biodiversity and other fields of research.

Viana do Castelo is already a well-established hub for innovation in the maritime sector. The growing green energy cluster started with the € 125 million Windfloat Atlantic project – the first floating wind farm in continental Europe – led by the Windplus consortium (EDP Renováveis, Engie, Repsol and Principle Power). The installation of the first turbine on the floating platform was completed in October 2019, and it started supplying clean energy via a 20 km cable to the Viana do Castelo substation in January 2020.

In the summer of 2020, CorPower Ocean invested an additional 16 million euros to build a manufacturing, R&D and service center in the seaport, for the production of wave energy converters, following an agreement with the administrative ports of Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo (APDL). The site is also now the focus of CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 project, involving its first commercial-scale demonstration.

In addition, the EU-funded Atlantis project has also been launched in the region, to propel the development of underwater robotics for the monitoring and processing of offshore industries, under the coordination of the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (Inest Tec), involving a consortium of European universities and research centers.

CorPower’s Country Director in Portugal, Miguel Silva, said: “We have been working closely with the authorities in Viana do Castelo since establishing the region as an operational base for the flagship HiWave-5 project. We feel particularly motivated to operate in Viana do Castelo, given the considerable interest in building on its obvious potential and creating a premier offshore energy testing center. Wave energy will play an essential role in the future green energy mix because of its production profile complementary to wind and solar power. In this regard, the development of a hybrid system with WindFloat Atlantic and the creation of the first combined 10 MW wave-wind network off Viana do Castelo are of great interest.

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Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/special-reports/09082021/portugals-plans-for-offshore-renewables/

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