Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE).- Directors of Bluefloat Energy, which together with the Sener group develops offshore wind projects and will fight with some twenty companies for the exploitation of the maritime space of Gran Canaria, have assured this Tuesday that their project, called Parque Tarahal, it would serve to supply the energy needs of half a million homes on the island.
In an informative breakfast, the person in charge of Bluefloat Energy for Spain, Javier Monfort, and the person in charge of business development, Ainhoa Villar, also pointed out that the social and landscape sustainability of the project, with an estimated cost of between 700 and 800 million euros, are two of the main challenges they face.
They have also reported the complexity of the project, which would be located about eight kilometers from the closest point to the coast, in Arinaga, and which would have 13 generators up to 261 meters above sea level with 118-meter long blades. , a float system and anchorage to the seabed at depths between 100 and 700 meters.
In fact, from its website it is possible to see what the visual impact would be like from various points on the coast such as Arinaga or Pozo Izquierdo, places linked to industrial activity, or San Agustín and Playa del Inglés, two of the tourist centers in the south of Gran Canaria together with Maspalomas, from where the park would not be seen.
The Tarahal Park would have a renewable energy production capacity of 225 megawatts (MW), that is, 17.2 MW each turbine. In context, in the entire Canary archipelago there is now close to 1,000 megawatts of installed power.
According to Bluefloat calculations, the park will increase the average value of coverage of energy demand through renewables from 16.4% to 25.6% and will generate nearly 3,000 jobs, of which 1,100 would have a “direct impact”. in the Canary Islands during the start-up phase, as well as 50 annual positions linked to maintenance.
The project would also save 15 million tons of carbon dioxide.
CONTRACTING BASES FOR A DIFFERENT TIME
In the opinion of those responsible for the Parque Tarahal project, the Ministry of Ecological Transition should adapt the bases of the tenders for the exploitation of maritime spaces to the new times and to the “future of opportunity” to promote a competitiveness that goes beyond the handful of large classic companies in the energy sector, and thus contribute to the project cohesively coexisting with the territory.
Just two weeks ago, and after several years of drafting, the Council of Ministers gave the green light to the Canary Islands Maritime Space Management Plan (POEM), which is expected to be the first territory to fully develop this type of facility. The Ministry defined six areas of high potential for offshore wind power in Fuerteventura (5.5 kilometers from the coast), Gran Canaria (5.8 km), Lanzarote (1.7 km) and Tenerife (1.8 km).
In this way, they ask that more weight be given, of around 30% of the offer, compared to 70% of the weight that the price of the megawatt/hour would have, to non-economic criteria related, for example, to the capacity of the projects to have greater potential to be accepted by the territory at a social level.
Also that priority be given to those that can be executed in the shortest period of time possible and, therefore, present a greater “early and intense dialogue with the territory”, ownership participation schemes and proposals that revert to a benefit for the community , for example in innovation and development.
All this, in Bluefloat’s opinion, would avoid a scenario of conflict and litigation that, if it occurred, would delay the development of offshore wind “and would ruin the plans of the government and the sector.”
PARTICIPATIONS FROM 500 EUROS
Bluefloat has also slipped the idea that small investors, preferably local, could purchase “tickets” or shares from just 500 euros.
This, in his opinion, would reinforce the participation and socioeconomic link of the project to the territory in which it is implemented and would help to strengthen the idea that the park concerns everyone.
Investors “will share the investment risks and share the benefits equally as the project generates them.”
Although they have not calculated what percentage of investment they hope to cover with the contribution of small investors, they have pointed out that “the volume is not so important, but that there are many people with small tickets because it is a way of making the public feel that the park is theirs”, they have Monfort said.
TIME FRAMEWORK AND TECHNICAL CHALLENGES
The roadmap is that the park can be in operation in 2030, but it will always depend on the bases of the contest.
Regarding why Gran Canaria, Bluefloat alludes to the fact that technically it is the island where the sea sheet that the Ministry has provided in the POEM is the one that presents the least technical challenges, compared to the rest of the islands, where the depths and unevenness of the bed marine could be a problem.
“Here there are depths with which we feel comfortable,” Monfort has summarized.
Lastly, he alluded to the relevance of the Salto de Chira hydroelectric plant coming into operation, since renewables, he recalled, “always need that storage component”, although he pointed out that offshore wind has a profile of different evolution regarding this, because it is a more stable technology with a “practically flat” generation profile that is better coupled to energy demand. EFE