German output drops due to slower winds

The decline in onshore wind generation and similarly poor figures for solar (-2.1% year-on-year) meant total electricity generation from renewable energy sources (+0.2%) remained largely constant, according to the Bundesnetzagentur (BNA).

This decline in power production hit operators’ earnings in 2016, BNA figures show.

Payments to operators of onshore wind farms under the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) fell to €4.69 billion. This marks a drop of 7.7% when compared to 2015 — the greatest reduction in payment for all renewable energy operators.

However, offshore operators’ earnings rose to €1.95 billion — the 54.3% increase year-on-year being the largest rise in payments for all renewable sources.

“The year 2016 shows once again that the power generation in Germany is subject to constant change,” said Jochen Homann, president of BNA.

“2016 was a poor wind year, so the production of electricity from renewable energy rose only slightly.”

Blue line: yearly average wind speeds in northern Germany; green line: yearly average wind speeds across the whole country

Average land speeds in Germany dropped from about 6.6m/s in 2015 to roughly 6.1m/s in 2016, according to the BNA. This decline in wind speeds was felt even more acutely in northern Germany, where speeds fell from roughly 8m/s to about 7.3m/s.

Together, these slowed speeds contributed to a 4.6TWh drop in power output from onshore wind farms, the BNA concluded.

Meanwhile, driven by an increase in offshore capacity, offshore production in 2016 increased 48.1% year-on-year.

Offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 848.7MW were installed in 2016 — an increase of 25.8% to the cumulative total as of 31 December 2015, according to the BNA.

This increase — the sharpest rise of all renewable sources in 2016 — meant the output from offshore projects increase 48.1% year-on-year.

Although onshore capacity grew by 4.16GW in 2016 — a 10.1% increase on the cumulative capacity at the end of the previous — both production and revenue decreased for wind farm operators.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

EMO Starts Building Merkur Service Base in Eemshaven

EMS Maritime Offshore (EMO) has laid the foundation for the Merkur offshore wind farm service base in Eemshaven, the Netherlands.

BV Kooi Bouwbedrijf, the general contractor for the construction work, will build a 600 m² warehouse, affiliated offices covering 500 m² spread across two floors, as well as the terminal logistics.

Merkur Offshore GmbH, the developer of the German 396MW Merkur offshore wind farm, signed a long-term contract with EMO in October 2017 for the construction of the service base in Eemshaven.

“Eemshaven is an excellent location for supervising the equipment in the wind farm effectively. It was important for us to find a partner whose service, competence, and flexibility were convincing,” said Markus van Hümmel, Head of Commissioning and Operations at Merkur Offshore GmbH.

The project, worth approximately EUR 1.4 million, is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018, when Merkur Offshore will start carrying out part of its maintenance and service works for the offshore wind farm from Eemshaven.

GE Renewable Energy, the provider of 66 Haliade 6MW wind turbines for Merkur, will also use the entire infrastructure for the upcoming years.

The Merkur offshore wind farm, located approximately 35km north of the island of Borkum in Germany, is expected to be fully operational in 2019.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

VBMS and Kintech Energy Introduce Resin-Free Hang-Offs

VBMS and Kintech Energy Ltd. have jointly developed a resin-free hang-off solution for fixing and sealing subsea cables in offshore structures which could potentially be used on the Horns Rev 3 wind farm off Denmark. 

VBMS describes the new product as ”a sustainable solution for fixing and sealing subsea cables in offshore structures by offering a hang-off that features fast (dis)assembly without the use of toxic resins.”

Until now, hang-offs were assembled using – often toxic – resin, which can be harmful to both human health and the environment, VBMS said.

With its resin-free hang-off, VBMS is said to offer a safe, rapid and reusable solution when, for example, demounting a cable from a monopile or jacket for replacement.

Arno van Poppel, Managing Director of VBMS, said: “As a total solution provider in the renewables sector, we continuously think of ways to improve safety and efficiency and to reduce the operational risk for our clients. For this latest innovation we have cooperated with our partner Kintech Energy Ltd., a start-up enterprise from the UK. We believe it is important to invest in new market entrants and stimulate innovation within the supply chain.”

Vattenfall Vindkraft A/S, the developer of the 407MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm, has shown interest and is currently exploring the options for using the resin-free hang-off on the project next year.

“Vattenfall is a true supporter of innovations that increase overall environment protection, safety and reduce risk. We are convinced that together with the supply chain we can set a higher standard in our industry,” said Horns Rev 3 Project Director Jens Hansen from Vattenfall.

In June 2016, Vattenfall awarded VBMS with a contract for the supply, installation, CPS, post-lay burial, termination and testing of the inter-array cables on the wind farm.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

MMT Starts Aquind Interconnector Geophysical Survey

MMT has begun the offshore geophysical survey of the proposed cable corridor between the landfall areas near Portsmouth, England, and Dieppe, France, for the Aquind Interconnector project.

MMT will use M/V Franklin for offshore works and M/V Seabeam for nearshore works, both equipped with multibeam echo sounders, side-scan sonars and sub-bottom profilers.

According to MMT, the survey results will inform the UK and French authorities on Aquind’s final route selection and support planning applications.

The two companies maintain ongoing contact with UK and French fisheries, which may be affected by the survey, in order to mitigate any potential impact on their fishing activities, MMT said, adding that Aquind and its advisors are liaising with relevant consent granting bodies in both countries to ensure that the survey scope complies with applicable standards.

Stefan Eliasson, MMT’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the AQUIND Interconnector project work and look forward to working with the Aquind Team to deliver a successful marine survey campaign along the proposed cable corridor. This shows that MMT can provide our customer with effective, high quality survey solutions meeting their high requirements.”

Aquind Interconnector is a new proposed subsea and underground High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission link between the south coast of England and Normandy in France.

With its 2,000MW capacity, the interconnector will transmit 16,000,000MWh of electricity each year between the two connected countries, which is 5 percent and 3 percent of the total consumption of Great Britain and France respectively, i.e. consumption by millions of households.

According to Aquind, by linking the British and French electric power grids, the interconnector will make energy markets more efficient, improve security of supply and enable greater flexibility as power grids evolve to adapt to different sources of renewable energy and changes in demand trends.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Expertise Hub VIDEO: Monopiles Are a Perfect Fit for Next Generation Turbines (Sif Group)

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Monopile foundations are the best option for next generation turbines because they are the most cost-effective solution in the market, Michel Kurstjens, Chief Commercial Officer of Sif Group, said.

In an interview with Offshore WIND, Kurstjens, one of the panelists at the Offshore WIND Conference in Amsterdam, also discussed the opening of the second production line at Sif’s facility in the Port of Rotterdam, as well as the company’s preparations for the potential rise of the floating wind.

”I think floating offshore wind might be the game-changer of the future, I just don’t know. But it is important enough for us to invest in it, to be part of the developments, so that when it arises we are ready for it,’’ Kurstjens said.

Watch our Expertise Hub interview to find out more on Sif Group’s current projects and future plans.

For more Expertise Hub interviews, visit Navingo’s Offshore WIND channel on Vimeo

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Huadian Heavy Joins Laothing Bodhi Offshore Wind Project

Huadian Heavy Industries has signed a contract with Hebei Construction & Investment Offshore Wind Power for the construction of high-rise pile cap foundations for the 300MW Laothing Bodhi offshore wind farm in China.

Huadian Heavy Industries will be in charge of constructing the high-rise pile cap foundations for 39 offshore wind turbines to be installed off the coast of the Hebei province.

The signed contract is worth approximately CNY 434 million (some EUR 55.3 million).

In March last year, China Suntien Green Energy Co. Ltd., HECIC and JEI signed an agreement to invest in Laoting Wind Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Suntien Green Energy which is developing the Laothing Bodhi offshore wind farm.

Under the agreement, China Suntien Green Energy has contributed CNY 475 million (approx. EUR 65 million), HECIC CNY 40 million (approx. EUR 5.5 million) and JEI CNY 500 million (approx. EUR 69 million). The companies will pay their respective sums in phases until the end of 2018, throughout the construction of the wind farm.

The Laothing Bodhi offshore wind farm is located in the Bohai Sea some 18 kilometers off the Puti Island in water depths of 7-27 meters.

It is the first approved offshore wind power demonstration project in the Hebei province.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Siem Offshore Negotiating Siem Offshore Contractors Sale

Siem Offshore is in talks with a potential buyer of Siem Offshore Contractors (SOC), as the parent company is considering strategic alternatives for its cable lay business amid preparation for an extended downturn in the offshore supply market.

“The outcome of these negotiations is not yet known and there is no certainty that a transaction will take place,” Siem Offshore stated.

Illustration; Image source: Veja Mate Offshore Project

To ensure that it will be able to service its debt obligations through the downturn, Siem Offshore has issued a request to its banks for instalment relief and certain other changes to its bank loan facilities. In addition, the company will issue notices for bondholder meetings in two unsecured bond issues for the bondholders to consider a proposal where the bonds will be exchanged at 80% of par value to a convertible bond with five and a half years maturity, 2 % cash interest and a NOK 3 conversion price.

Siem Offshore Contractors reported a decrease in operating revenues from USD 84.9 million in Q3 2016 to USD 10.3 million in Q3 2017. In the first nine months of 2017, SOC generated gross revenues of USD 87 million, down from USD 129.4 million posted in the same period of 2016. The total backlog on 30 September 2017 was at USD 160 million.

SOC is currently working on inter-array cable connections at the Beatrice, Hornsea One and Trianel Windpark Borkum II offshore wind farms.

Offshore WIND Staff

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News