A 300 MW offshore wind farm ‘Mar de Ágata’ is planned in Levante Almeriense, Spain

  • In front of the coasts of the municipalities of Níjar and Carboneras and using floating wind technology, the Mar de Ágata Offshore Wind Farm is developed by the joint venture of BlueFloat Energy and SENER.
  • It will create 7,500 jobs during the construction and decommissioning phases, 50% of them direct, with an estimated contribution to GDP of 630 million euros.
  • Savings of CO2 emissions during the useful life of the wind farm, estimated at 30 years, would be around 12 million tons.

Almería, October 25, 2021. A joint venture between BlueFloat Energy and SENER is developing Mar de Ágata, one of the first floating offshore wind farms in Andalusia, which will be located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the eastern coast of Almería, between the municipalities of Níjar and Carboneras.

This wind farm will have an installed capacity of 300 MW (corresponding to 28% of the current electricity consumption in the province of Almería). During the useful life of the park, estimated at 30 years, Mar de Ágata will allow savings of 12 million tons of CO2.

The project will have a strong positive impact on the economic activity and job creation. Specifically, it would lead to the generation of 3,750 direct jobs and 3,750 indirect jobs during the construction and decommissioning phases, out of which at least 55% are expected to be created in Andalusia. During the operation and maintenance phase, the employment generated would be around 120 jobs per year, of which 60 would be direct. Therefore, it represents an opportunity for the reconversion of economic activity in the area, after the closure of the Carboneras thermal power plant, taking advantage of the existence of a just transition node in the 400 kV “Litoral” electrical substation, located in this municipality.

Thanks to Mar de Ágata, the installed wind capacity in the province of Almería would increase by 59%, and the total wind capacity in Andalusia would grow by 8.6%. In economic terms, the effect on the national GDP is estimated at 630 million euros, which would represent 0.28% of the Andalusian GDP.

The wind farm will be equipped with 20 floating offshore wind turbines, 15 MW each. The maximum estimated height of each wind turbine will be 261 meters above sea level, which will be located more than 15 kilometers away from the main viewpoints of Cabo de Gata (La Amatista and La Isleta del Moro).

The planned evacuation point, the SE Litoral, in the municipality of Carboneras, will be located less than 10 kilometers from the site of the wind farm, so the project does not contemplate the development of an offshore electrical substation.

The identification of the site for the project has been carried out based on a rigorous analysis of the technical and environmental conditions: wind resource, availability of electrical connections with capacity, environmentally protected areas and species, fishing, depths, geomorphology of the seabed, waves, maritime traffic, air navigation and easements of the Ministry of Defense.

In this way, the location of the fishing grounds and the areas where the main fishing fleets operate, in the ports of Almería, Carboneras and Garrucha, have been taken into account, minimizing the possible impact that the installation may have on the fishing activity. The areas of passage of maritime traffic have also been taken into consideration.

The developers of the project are working with the local administrations, stakeholder organizations, associations and the rest of the local entities to reach consensus around the project, in a way that benefits the whole territory and its population in the context of environmental sustainability.

The conservation of ecosystems, both marine and onshore, and the associated biodiversity, are also considered a priority, in the context of the just ecological transition. In this sense, Mar de Ágata, beyond the specific studies on environmental impact and those related to the marine space, will apply the best international practices to minimize the possible effects of the project on flora and fauna.

Synergies with local projects and strengthening of the value chain

Moreover, the project was born with the idea of ​​taking advantage of possible synergies with other local projects, and especially with the green hydrogen plant promoted by Caldererías Indálicas. This plant will be executed in two different phases, with a green hydrogen production capacity of up to 20 tons/day, and could cover part of its electricity demand through the energy produced by the offshore wind farm, thus ensuring the green origin of hydrogen production. In return, Mar de Ágata would take advantage of the technical capabilities and facilities of Caldererías Indálicas to manufacture locally part of the floating structures. Likewise, it would trigger the upscaling and capacity-building of the local contractors to support the construction as well as operation and maintenance of the assets.

In addition, the Mar de Ágata wind farm could favor the consolidation of a local supply with a focus on R & D, engineering, project management and procurement, both in the construction phase and the operations phase, positioning Andalusia in the international renewable energy market, and generating long-term economic value.

The Mar de Ágata floating offshore wind farm responds directly to the current need for Spain to successfully complete its ecological transition, whose objective is the decarbonization of the Spanish economy and carbon neutrality, thus honouring the commitments assumed by Spain towards the EU in the framework of the Paris Agreement.

These commitments imply a change in the energy model of Spain, through the development of an electricity mix based exclusively on renewable energies. This new model aims to achieve up to 74% of renewable energy production in electricity generation in 2030, as established in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). Andalusia aspires to install a minimum of 25,650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, 45% of the 57,000 MW foreseen by the PNIEC, in the context of the Andalusian Energy Strategy Horizon 2030. The Mar de Ágata offshore wind farm would contribute towards this objective, complying also with the four lines of action included in the Andalusian Energy Guidelines issued by the Andalusian Government: the fight against climate change, the use of clean energy, the commitment to efficiency and the commitment to innovation.

In relation to climate change, the expected savings in CO2 emissions during the useful life of the wind farm, estimated at 30 years, could reach a volume of 12 million tons.

DEVELOPMENT ENTITIES: BLUEFLOAT ENERGY AND SENER

The Mar de Ágata Floating Offshore Wind Farm is a project developed by BlueFloat Energy and SENER, forming a Joint Venture.

BlueFloat Energy is comprised of a team of offshore wind pioneers who have extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in developing, consenting, financing, constructing, commissioning and operating fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind projects. With a corporate vision of accelerating the global deployment of offshore wind as a key enabler for the energy transition and economic growth, BlueFloat Energy is currently developing offshore wind energy projects under a global mandate.

SENER is a private engineering and technology group founded in 1956, a world reference  in the energy, infrastructure, naval and aerospace sectors. With more than 2,300 employees and offices on five continents, SENER is a leader in renewable energy engineering and services at all stages of design, development and construction. SENER distinguishes itself through its ability to create innovative engineering solutions and is collaborating with its clients in the implementation of offshore wind to combat climate change.

Both entities are also developing Parc Tramuntana, a floating offshore wind energy project designed for Empordà and the province of Gerona (Catalonia).

For more information (in Spanish) please visit the project website: https://mardeagata.es/

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