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ALE reaches milestone in offshore wind turbine installation

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ALE has completed a major project milestone and lifted the two sections (T1 and T2) of a telescopic tower – the first self-installing telescopic offshore wind turbine in Arinaga, Gran Canaria. The T2 section, weighing 240t, and the T1 section, weighing 360t, both measured 31.5m high.

This is part of the H2020 ELICAN project lead by ESTEYCO, where ALE is part of the Consortium who aim to build the first self-installing telescopic offshore wind turbine for a Siemens-Gamesa 5MW turbine in the Canary Islands. ALE is responsible for the tower lifting operations and the coupling between the tower and the Auxiliary Floating System, as well as the final offshore installation.

Due to the complexity of the project, ALE started planning in January 2016, before performing the tower section test lifts in December 2017. In March 2018, ALE completed the lifting test of the T2 section with a nacelle, weighing a total of 490t.

During the project, ALE’s R&D department was responsible for developing a unique Wi-Fi system enabling the manoeuvres to be performed with wireless equipment. Furthermore, it was in charge of managing the manoeuvres from a boat located away from the tower.

Cecilio Barahona, Project Engineer for ALE, said: “It is fantastic to be involved in such a unique project that will revolutionise renewable energy production. We are really happy with the achievements so far, with the successful assembly of the two sections.”

The connection of the Auxiliary Floating System and final offshore installation is expected to take place in May 2018. In this final lifting manoeuvre, the sections, comprising of blades and nacelle weighing 540t and 900t, will be lifted using strand jacks and a new horizontal guidance system.

Finally, the 5MW turbine will be connected to the electrical cable and the energy production is expected to start by the second part of 2018.

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