Greening the Islands Foundation

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La Gomera and Airborne Wind Europe Kick-off EU Airborne Wind Energy Centre of Excellence

The Cabildo of La Gomera, in collaboration with Airborne Wind Europe (AWEU), CT Ingenieros and Proexca, are pioneering an innovative venture with the aim to provide advancing electricity generation through Airborne Wind Energy technology. This initiative marks a significant step forward in the island’s pursuit of sustainable development and economic growth.

 

A protocol was recently signed to initiate tests on the island, laying the groundwork for the establishment of The European Industry Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES) Centre of Excellence in La Gomera, Canary Islands. This is a unique AWES development infrastructure comprised by AWES-LAB (a series of technology development infrastructures) and AWES-FTC (AWES flight test site with capability for 24/7, long term testing for a farm of two small systems up to 100kW and two big systems up to 500kW). The agreement reflects a shared commitment to leverage cutting-edge technology to harness renewable energy sources.

Casimiro Curbelo, the President of La Gomera, enthusiastically endorsed the prospect of hosting the European headquarters of the AWES Center. He emphasized that “the transformative potential of this initiative in advancing the conversion of Airborne Wind Energy into electrical power, highlighting its pivotal role in the island’s technological and economic groundbreaking”.

The decision to proceed with this agreement follows a comprehensive feasibility study carried out by CT Ingenieros and local support, counting on La Gomera having the necessary infrastructure and attributes to support such endeavours. The local utility Endesa, the mayor of the local community as well as the public company that will carry out further technical and environmental analyses do not see any major obstacles. Moreover, it aligns well with the objectives of the recently adopted “Estrategia Gomera36”, a collaborative initiative with the aim to foster sustainable development across various sectors.

 

Partnership, collaboration, and economic diversification

Under the terms of the protocol, the Cabildo will collaborate in both the investment and operational phases of the AWES Center, while Airborne Wind Europe together with CT Ingenieros will focus on securing additional funding and promoting projects that can benefit from the infrastructure. This partnership highlights a commitment to public-private cooperation and marks a shared vision for the island’s future.

Pablo Martín, CEO of Proexca, underscores the project’s alignment “with efforts to diversify the island’s economy and capitalize on its potential in renewable energy and research and development. This initiative represents a strategic approach to attracting investments tailored to the unique opportunities presented by La Gomera”.

Agulo is located on the north coast of the island of La Gomera in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife of the Canary Islands. It is located 13 km northwest of the capital San Sebastián de la Gomera.

Technological advancements and sustainable impacts

The European Industry AWES Centre of Excellence in La Gomera is poised to be a groundbreaking facility with state-of-the-art testing capabilities for both small and large systems. Kristian Petrick, Secretary General of Airborne Wind Europe, highlighted “the centre’s potential to drive advancements in aerospace technologies and renewable energy generation. It will give AWE developers the opportunity to not only test and demonstrate their systems but also to verify and certify their power curves and operations.”

In addition to its research and development functions, the centre aims to increase the island’s energy self-sufficiency by utilizing the electricity generated during flight operation. This renewable energy source could also support water storage and desalination projects, further enhancing La Gomera’s sustainability efforts. Initial estimates suggest that the deployment of only a few AWE systems could potentially cover a significant portion of the island’s energy needs, marking a significant step towards a greener and more resilient future for La Gomera.

 

Learn more:

 

https://greeningtheislands.org/groundbreaking-centre-of-excellence-in-la-gomera-will-help-make-airborne-wind-energy-a-reality-in-small-islands/

Cover picture:

From left: Jerónimo Falcón López (Project Manager, Proexca); Pablo Martín Carbajal (Chief Executive Officer and CEO, Proexca); Kristian Petrick (Secretary General, Airborne Wind Europe); Casimiro Curbelo (President of the Cabildo Insular de La Gomera); Adasat Reyes Herrera (First Vice President of the Cabildo Insular de La Gomera).


Article written by: Kristian Petrick, Secretary General of Airborne Wind Europe.

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