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01 December 2010

IREC Takes Part in the AZIMUT Project

AzimutIREC forms part of the AZIMUT initiative that involves the participation of 11 businesses and 22 research centres with the goal of generating the know-how required to develop a large-scale marine wind turbine (15 MW). The firms and research centres specialising in wind energy technologies include turbine manufacturers (Acciona, Alstom and Gamesa) and two major wind park sponsors, Iberdrola and Acciona Energía.

The Azimut project, approved by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) at the Ministry for Science and Innovation, will require a total investment of 25 million euros over the next four years, 11 million of which will be provided by the Ministry.

The initiative, scheduled to finalise in 2013, is designed to establish the technological groundwork for the subsequent development, in around 2020, of a large-scale offshore wind turbine.

The initial objectives call for developing a turbine with unit capacity of 15 MW that is capable of overcoming the technical and financial hurdles currently limiting the rollout of offshore wind energy. The most pressing of these obstacles are availability, turbine foundations and energy delivery to land, and the challenge consists in narrowing the gap between offshore energy's cost and required investment and those of onshore wind energy sites.

The project will focus on the following technological areas: the capture of marine wind energy, marine structure and substructure conversion technologies, operation and maintenance at offshore sites; and integration of offshore wind energy into the electricity grid.