Atir floating tidal platform nears blades fitting

Atif floating tidal platform at Ria de Vigo estuary (Photo: Magallanes Renovables)

Spanish tidal energy developer Magallanes Renovables has revealed it will install the blades for its Atir floating tidal platform at the end of this September.

The Atir floating tidal platform has been anchored in Ria de Vigo estuary, located in the Spanish region of Galicia, since July 11, 2017, in an area with the water depth of 25 meters.

The platform will be fitted with turbine blades in a diving operation scheduled to take place three weeks from now, at the end of September, to conduct trials, the company said.

The testing will first be done on the platform’s generators, upon which Magallanes Renovables plans to use a tugboat to tow the platform in order to test its rotor blades.

Mario Iglesias, Project Director at Magallanes Renovables, said: “Our first goal is to check that the equipment works perfectly during static tests. There are many things that have never been done before, such as the installation of blades at the depth of 15 meters. Any movement we make is pure innovation.”

The recently launched full-scale device weighs 350 tonnes, and is 42 meters long. Its two-side oriented turbine blades are 19 meters in diameter.

Aside to the anchoring solution, the platform is built with compartments that can receive around 180 tonnes of water, which will serve to balance the Atir tidal solution, as the water will be able to flow from one compartment to the other – all the way from bow to stern, according to Magallanes Renovables.

After the trials in Ria de Vigo, the platform will be moved to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, for additional trials that will last for one year, starting in 2018.

Last week, the Scottish delegation which included Orcades Marine Management Consultants, and EMEC’s Managing Director, Neil Kermode, visited the Atir platform.

During the occasion, Kermode said he was impressed with the progress made on the tidal platform, which is part of the Ocean 2G project, where EMEC is one of the partner organizations.

In addition to Magallanes Renovables and EMEC, the Ocean 2G project, backed through Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, also involves Leask Marine, and IM Future.

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