The G128-5.0 prototype, an open window to explore the energy future

The offshore wind turbine in whose construction the Aviles-based company Windar is participating has its own name: the G128-5.0 prototype.

This is the name given to the prototype by the engineers in charge of its development, who designed a structure of colossal dimensions for what has become the norm in onshore wind power. The column that supports the weight of the entire device (the part of the apparatus that has been built in Avilés) measures 90 metres, the blades – the largest ever manufactured in Spain – are 62.5 metres long and weigh 15 tonnes each, and the “nacelle” (the box inside which houses the machinery that transforms wind into electricity) is 12.5 metres long, 4 metres high and weighs 72 tonnes. The blades of this first 100% Spanish offshore wind turbine were manufactured in Aoiz (Navarra) and the nacelle in Tauste (Zaragoza).

Gamesa announced when it presented its offshore project in the Canary Islands that the wind turbine will be commissioned in July. Likewise, and at the expense of the results of the machine, the intention is to place a second wind turbine on the same site, which could become a reality in 2015. The choice of the port of Arinaga for the placement of this first 100% Spanish marine wind turbine had to do with the varied wind regime in the area, which will allow the performance of the “windmill” to be evaluated and determine whether these are suitable for the mass production of this type of device.

The importance that offshore wind energy has gained in recent times has to do with the yields (offshore wind is more constant than onshore wind and there are no obstacles to its progress) and the existence of fewer administrative obstacles (the landscape and environmental impacts of onshore wind farms have become stumbling blocks that are sometimes difficult to overcome). The Nordic countries are already ahead in this field; now Spain is jumping on the bandwagon and Avilés is not losing any ground.