We went to the largest wind farm in the Mediterranean

Beleolico plant – Photo: Renexia spa

Artificial intelligence adjusts the movement of the blades based on the wind, but control remains in human hands. In fact, the dashboard monitors the operation of all components of the park, such as wind speed, to orient the turbines depending on the intensity of the air flow. The control office is in Pescarawhere the employees constantly check the conditions of Beleolico, which activates the employees in Taranto when necessary.

With a small boat, we head to the furthest shovels from the harbor: “The monopilot does not have our machines an element of transition: it is one of the first parks in the world created in this way. So it means less steel consumption and less maintenance”, says Sammartino. Above all, Beleolico is currently the first offshore wind farm in terms of size (and thus power) in the entire Mediterranean. It is a a “fixed” park, i.e. with monopiles installed in the sea bedon the other hand “floating”to which wind turbines are attached instead gigantic counterweight systems not anchored to the ground. And speaking of sustainability, it’s worth noting that the big advantage of this wind farm is that all its components are 90% recyclable.

Respect for the territory

There are two misconceptions about wind energy, or rather two outdated concepts stemming from technological impasses that have now been overcome. The first concerns noise produced by blades. But here in Taranto, both on shore and a few meters further out in the sea, you can truly testify that you do not hear any noise produced by the movement of the blades. “In the latest generation systems, a lot of attention is paid to the sound pressure curve, so much so that during the approval phase, the competent authorities state limits that cannot be exceeded”. explains the manager.

Another question concerns birds which may end up between the rotating vanes. In the Taranto park, two security systems are in place to protect the birds. The first consists of “black blade”. The black coloring of one of the blades of each turbine creates a disc effect during rotation that deceives birds and discourages them from approaching. “Then there she is bird tracking system, a sort of collar at the base of the blade that contains four upward-facing cameras. Thanks to software based on low-level artificial intelligence the system checks for the presence of flocks which move slower than a single bird, and if its presence is felt, it interrupts the action of the blades. At the same time a sound warning that scares the birds.” In fact, after a few minutes we witness the passage of a flock that bypasses the blades without slowing its flight.

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