Plans for Spain’s First Large Floating Offshore Wind Farm

Spain's first large floating offshore wind farm
Plans for Spain's 300 MW floating offshore wind farm (Iberdrola)

Published Feb 17, 2021 8:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

Plans were unveiled for Spain’s first industrial-scale floating offshore wind farm. The Spanish multinational electric utility company Iberdrola said it would invest as much as $1.2 billion to develop the facility which would be an extension of the company’s efforts to develop significant renewable energy resources off the coast of Spain.

According to the company, the project is designed to generate 300 MW of clean energy and could become a significant contributor to the Spanish economy. The study, design, and engineering could begin this year and it could generate more than 2,800 jobs per year until it becomes operational in 2026. The project would involve the participation of 66 Spanish companies and technology centers and could generate between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs during 2021-2022, before the start of the construction phase.

Expected to become operational in five years, it is part of a broader plan where the company expects to develop up to 2,000 MW of floating offshore wind projects off the coasts of Galicia, Andalusia in Spain, and the Canary Islands. The project would also contribute to the fight against climate change, with an estimated reduction of over 200,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.

The project is one of 150 initiatives submitted by the company to the Next Generation EU program, in the fields of heat electrification, floating offshore, sustainable mobility, green hydrogen, innovative renewables, smart grids, circular economy, and energy storage. The total investment in the programs would exceed $25 billion and involve hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Iberdrola is aggressively pursuing opportunities in the offshore wind industry with one of the largest offshore wind pipelines in the market, Current projects would produce more than 30 GW worldwide and are part of a plan that calls for an investment of $16 billion in Spain by 2025 and a global strategy with total investments of $90 billion worldwide.

The company currently operates wind farms in the Baltic Sea near Germany, the North Sea, and the Irish Sea. It is also developing an 800 MW project off the coast of Massachusetts, as well as projects in Virginia and off the French coast. In recent months, it has also gained access to an early-stage pipeline in new markets, which will become growth platforms, such as Sweden, Japan, Poland, and Ireland. In Denmark, Iberdrola has recently agreed to participate with Total in the country's upcoming auction for the 1 GW Thor offshore wind farm.

By 2025, Iberdrola expects to reach 60 GW of installed renewable capacity worldwide, of which 4 GW will be offshore wind.