The aim of AquaWind is to perform a demonstration test of a multi-use (MU) integrated and co-located solution. This would consist of joining an existing marine renewable energy production, the W2Power prototype, with an innovative aquaculture solution. The aquaculture prototype will include a tailor-made design fish cage with novel net materials, a high level of digitalization and species diversification. Whereas the W2Power prototype will consist of floating wind technology.
For the first time, this project performs MU test trials joining marine energy production with live fish aquaculture in the Atlantic region. AquaWind joins the efforts of a multidisciplinary stakeholders’ consortia including R&D centres, companies, regional authorities, and a maritime cluster from three EU member states (ES, FR, PT) in the Atlantic basin. In addition to that, AquaWind will involve a wide network of stakeholders throughout all the project phases to ensure social acceptance. The project will provide a route map for regulatory and legal issues that need to be addressed for real implementation of MU projects, taking advantage of and facilitating interaction with previous and ongoing EU-funded projects.
AquaWind will also demonstrate how the joint activity can be digitised to be remotely operated in the same maritime space with different fish species (sparus aurata as control and seriola dumerili as novel) and how one activity might affect the other, before going one step further to become the new W2Power prototype a commercial solution. Thus, AquaWind will provide real data to demonstrate the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the MU proposal: providing a business model case and exploitation plan to evaluate the cost reduction of commissioning, maintenance and operation of the combined activity including the evolution of the prototype. Also, it will provide real data of the monitoring campaign to evaluate the environmental impact in the surrounding maritime space by measuring the CO2 footprint.
The project fully responds to the objectives to support the development and uptake of MU between marine renewable energies and other blue economy activities (aquaculture) and contribute to the Atlantic Maritime Strategy priority to develop marine renewable energy and the sustainable expansion of the Blue Economy (BE) in the Atlantic Basin. In this regard, AquaWind focuses on specific solutions suggested for MU projects that were specifically encouraged by the European Commission in its guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for 2021 to 2030.