Windar secures another year’s workload thanks to offshore wind energy


The collaboration with Navantia makes possible a new contract from Iberdrola that will allow the manufacture in Avilés of 102 piles for 34 wind turbines for a gigantic wind farm. The Daniel Alonso Group participates in a 120 million euro project in Scotland.

Windar’s facilities in Avilés have secured another year of work after the agreement was signed in El Ferrol between Iberdrola and the joint venture made up of Navantia and the Daniel Alonso Group company. The contract is worth 120 million euros and will enable the development of the East Anglia One offshore wind farm, which the Spanish electricity company is currently developing off the English coast. It will have a capacity of 714 megawatts (MW), making it the largest Spanish project in the history of renewable energy.

The 34 wind turbines for East Anglia One will be distributed in a similar way to Iberdrola’s project on the German Baltic coast, in which Navantia and Windar also participated under the joint venture formula. Navantia’s shipyard in Fene (La Coruña) will build the body of the platforms while Windar will manufacture in Avilés the 102 piles required for their foundations on the seabed. To date, the platforms have had a structure of four piles, but in this new project the evolution of the design has resulted in three for each structure.

Windar also assumes the so-called transition pieces of the structure, so that two thirds of each wind turbine will be physically built in Avilés. In practical terms, this will represent a year’s workload. Construction of the new structures will begin in March 2017.

Between March 2017 and June 2018, some 850,000 hours of work will be generated at the Navantia and Windar facilities as a whole, with between 600 and 700 jobs created on average and employment peaks of up to 1,300 people. Nor can we forget the impact on other companies. Starting with ArcelorMittal, responsible for supplying the steel for Windar.  

Historic project

East Anglia One will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world when it comes on stream in 2020, thanks to an installed capacity of 714 MW that will supply clean energy to more than 500,000 English homes. It will have 102 wind turbines. Iberdrola called an international tender to award its construction in what represents the largest renewable energy project developed to date by a Spanish company and which represents an investment of 2,500 million pounds (around 2,966 million euros).

Apart from this Navantia and Windar award, Iberdrola has already carried out other works related to this project, such as the one awarded to the company Siemens for the supply of 102 turbines with a unit capacity of 7 MW. Iberdrola distributed the 102 wind turbines in three different lots of 28, 34 and 40 platforms. The electricity company has awarded them to different companies as part of its strategy to minimise risks, ensure deadlines and also reduce costs. These are highly complex calls for tenders and where the demands are the highest in both technical and financial aspects.

For the collaboration between Windar and Navantia, this is good news that strengthens their relationship, as it demonstrates Iberdrola’s satisfaction with the Winkinger project, in the Baltic Sea, where both companies established a working mechanism that is now being repeated on almost equal terms.

Iberdrola’s chairman, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, alluded to this precedent at the signing of the contract with Navantia’s chairman, José Manuel Revuelta, and his counterpart at Windar, Orlando Alonso. The commitment was formalised at a ceremony held at the Naval Construction Museum (Exponav Foundation) in the Ferrol Arsenal, which was also attended by the President of the Galician Regional Government, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Thus, Sánchez Galán assured that “the quality of the work carried out for our fleet in Germany and the experience and knowledge acquired in the construction of its structures” has allowed the awarding of this lot for the East Anglia One project, in the North Sea. From Navantia, Revuelta affirmed that the new award demonstrates that both they and Windar have responded to Iberdrola’s quality demands.

The scale of this initiative is unprecedented in the Spanish renewable industry. For example, the wind farm will cover an area of more than 300 square kilometres, the equivalent of 30,000 football fields; the cable that will carry all the energy from the wind farm to the mainland will be 85 kilometres (the distance between Madrid and Toledo); the substation will be 1,144 square metres in size (the size of Madrid’s Vicente Calderón stadium); and the wind turbine blades will be 75 metres long each. East Anglia One is Iberdrola’s third project in the offshore wind sector, including the Wikinger project in Germany.