published on 16 November 2020 in energy
Offshore wind power arrives in the Strait of Sicily
Floating wind turbines will be installed in the Strait of Sicily thanks to a maxi project called MeDWos (acronym for Mediterranean wind off shore), involving the construction of Italy’s first offshore wind farm by Renexia, a Toto Group company. On paper, the future wind farm will have 190 turbines located 60 km from the coast, with a total capacity of 2.9 GW. The distance of the turbines from the coast has been calculated so as to ensure that they do not obstruct either commercial maritime traffic or tourist traffic in any way, and obviously so as they do not interfere with the migration routes of birds or views from the beaches.
The wind turbines will be of the floating type, i.e. without fixed foundations but built on floating platforms. This technology makes it possible to work in the open sea, where the seabed may be as deep as 800 metres. This is essential both for capturing the strongest winds blowing far from the coast and for all those countries, like Italy, which have few areas of shallow water that can be used for offshore wind farms.
The company has already submitted its project to the Ministry of the Environment to obtain the necessary EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment required for all major construction works); it has also applied for a maritime concession from the Ministry of Infrastructures. The bureaucratic process is therefore still at an early stage and work is not expected to start before 2023. When fully operational – the estimated completion date is 2025 – the Sicilian floating wind farm should be able to meet the electricity needs of 3.4 million households.