May 11, 2021

The Canary Islands approve 2.3 million to install the Bluelink submarine cable


The Canary Islands Ocean Platform (Plocan) in the bay of Taliarte.  |  |  YAIZA SOCORRO

The Canary Islands Ocean Platform (Plocan) in the bay of Taliarte. | | YAIZA SOCORRO

The government council has authorized this Wednesday a direct aid of 2.3 million to the Canary Islands Oceanic Platform (Plocan), installed in the bay of Taliarte, to install the submarine cable Bluelink, that will allow capturing renewable energy projects, such as floating wind energy offshore, with an investment of 22 million that will mean a return for the Canary Islands of 80%.

This grant will help improve public research and development (R&D) equipment and infrastructure and is part of the advance call for expressions of interest for scientific infrastructures of the Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and Information Society (ACIISI).

The installation of the new cable will allow the capture of new projects for the Plocan test bench, the first of them destined to the testing of a floating offshore wind energy device by the Nautilus company, financed by Iberdrola and endowed with an investment total of 22 million euros.

This investment will have a return of between 5 and 8 times its value for the Canary Islands, benefiting all types of regional companies linked to the electricity sector, ship repair and transport, among others, and contributing to an economic diversification based on knowledge and the blue economy. , specifies the Canary Government in a statement.

European funds

The department headed by Elena Máñez, on which ACIISI depends, proposed the direct concession for reasons of public interest to finance the project to expand the electrical and land-based communications infrastructure Bluelink, after the corresponding call last September within the framework of the Operational Program of the European Regional Development Fund (Feder) Canarias 2014-2020.

With the design, acquisition, installation and commissioning of the Bluelink (5MW) electrical and communications cable, the current energy evacuation capacity of the Platform’s test bench to the transmission grid will be increased.

The cable will be connected to the current infrastructure of the Plocan, in the maritime-terrestrial public domain area reserved in favor of the then Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and entrusted for its management to the public consortium also participated by the Government of the Canary Islands, with the purpose to meet the growing demand for connection.

The project will achieve up to 75% of the global capacity of the 66KV (10MW) Electric and Marine Communications Infrastructure (Iecom), which in the future will be completed up to the maximum 15MW, according to the file processed by the Canary Research Agency , Innovation and Information Society (ACIISI).

The Canary Islands Ocean Platform provides support for research, technological development and innovation in the marine and maritime sectors, and is available to public and private clients. The project was born in 2010, at the III Conference of Presidents, the Autonomous Communities and the State, given the need to promote science, research and new technologies in Spain. From that meeting came the creation of a Map of Singular Scientific and Technical Facilities (ICTS) that is part of the scientific policies included in the Ingenio 2010 program. At that time, the creation of 24 new facilities was approved.

At the end of that same year an agreement would be signed between the Ministry of Education and the autonomous community of the Canary Islands for the creation of a consortium in charge of the construction of this platform, which was finally floated in the bay of Taliarte in 2016. The The facility is itself an offshore test bench that includes a range of 23 kilometers, which has another platform on land where data is collected and researchers also work. In 2017, the Plocan received the visit of the Kings of Spain.

The director of Plocan is José Joaquín Hernández Brito, doctor in Chemical Sciences (1986) from the University of La Laguna and professor at the Faculty of Marine Sciences of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria since 1983. From 2009 to 2018 , worked at AIR CENTER, an international research center in the Atlantic focused on integrating space, climate, oceans and energy; he has also been manager of ICTS PLOCAN.

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