The Ocean Lider project was allocated a budget of almost €30 million and has been carried out by the consortium over the last four years. It has become the largest R&D&I project involving ocean renewable energies and is boosting unprecedented advances in this sector.

The presentation on the project was held at the premises of the Higher Technical School (ETS) of Naval Engineering at Madrid’s Polytechnic University (UPM). It was attended by the Secretary-General of Science, Technology and Innovation, María Luisa Poncela; the Director-General of the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), Elisa Robles; the CEO of IBERDROLA INGENIERÍA, Federico de la Hoz, and the Director of Innovation in the IBERDROLA Group, Agustín Delgado, as well as managers from the other participating enterprises.

This revolutionary project aims to create new technologies and know-how for the efficient, large-scale development of the main marine technologies currently available: offshore wind power and wave and tidal energies.

It is the strongest technological commitment undertaken to date by Spanish industry in the area of ocean energies, made possible by the collaboration of Spanish companies and centres with an unwavering vocation for innovation, advanced technological skills and international prestige. The goal of Ocean Lider is to enable these Spanish bodies to spearhead the offshore renewables sector, just as they have already achieved in the onshore wind power sector.

This R&D project has allowed to set up a smart system that is capable of placing offshore installations in the most suitable locations. The following three tools for analysing and assessing marine resources were used: the Wave Rider buoy, to measure wave motion; the Lider Flotante measurement tower for the waves, and Awac, for the currents.

New marine technologies were also designed, such as a system of floating wind turbines for deep water or a new turbine for generating energy from currents.

New transmission and distribution system

Other developments include a next-generation system for the transmission and distribution of the electricity generated by these installations, including a new type of semi-submersible floating substation with specially adapted connectors and dynamic power lines.

The project also included the creation of a ship that enables fast, cost-effective installation of this infrastructure, as well as an operating system managed from a control centre designed especially for this type of energy infrastructure.

Finally, Ocean Lider also set up a special safety system for operating offshore installations and a methodology for assessing the respective environmental impacts.

This project received a subsidy amounting to some €15 million from the CDTI and the State Fund for Local Investment. It is an example of the IBERDROLA Group’s policy of including a high degree of innovation in the projects it undertakes to develop. In fact, its technological capabilities make IBERDROLA’s engineering subsidiary one of the leading firms in its sector worldwide, with the ability to compete on the various international markets.