Tecnalia, BiMEP Launch Floating HarshLab
Tecnalia has launched HarshLab, a floating laboratory for offshore renewable energy technology, in Bermeo Port in Spain on 20 July.
The construction and installation of HarshLab has been supported by the Basque Government, and the lab will be situated and started up at BiMEP (Biscay Marine Energy Platform), the open-sea marine energy research platform located in Armintza and developed by the Basque Energy Agency (EVE).
HarshLab enables testing of new materials and solutions against corrosion, ageing and fouling in the marine environment, in real conditions that are monitored on site.
The lab will offer accurate information to enable companies to predict the performance of materials, components and equipment in the hostile offshore environment, in order to develop offshore energy systems with a high survival rate.
Companies will be able to use the facilities to assess, amongst other things, fixing solutions for the wind energy and oil & gas sectors; systems for monitoring and controlling underwater handlers; underwater electrical connectors; hydraulic systems; oil-hydraulic systems and components, metal tubes for piles; protective covering and solutions; and multi-material joints or mooring systems.
Erreka, Credeblug, Ditrel, Navacel, Tubacex, Vicinay, Nem Solutions and Sasyma Coatings will be the first to test their solutions, as part of an initiative promoted by the Basque Energy Cluster.
Although the lab was originally designed to promote offshore energy, other sectors like naval, civil works, fishing, communications, sports, etc. will be able to make use of this infrastructure, Tecnalia said, adding that it could also be used to train professionals in offshore environments.
HarshLab has been developed with the support of the Basque Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure through the Hazitek programme (HARSH project), and with direct funding from the Lehendakaritza Innovation Fund and the Basque Energy Agency’s programme to fund investment to test and validate renewable marine energy technology, supported by the Basque Country’s 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).