Top News of the Week, 25 – 31 July


Van Oord to Buy Bilfinger’s Offshore Wind Unit

Van Oord has reached an agreement on the acquisition of the offshore wind activities of Bilfinger Marine & Offshore Systems GmbH, a German company active in the engineering, construction and installation of foundations for offshore wind farms.

France Approves Two Pilot Floaters

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has approved two floating wind pilot projects as part of the country’s call for tenders for the development of floating wind launched last year.

Senvion Turbines to Float off French Mediterranean Coast

Hamburg-based wind turbine manufacturer Senvion is to deliver up to four of its 6.2M152 wind turbines adapted to the floating offshore foundation developed by the EolMed consortium, led by Quadran, after the consortium won an approval to construct a 24MW pilot floating wind project in the French Mediterranean Sea.

ERSG Wins Beatrice Staffing Contract

Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has chosen ERSG, a UK-headquartered supplier of contract and permanent placements to the energy sector, to provide contract wind professionals for the 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm project.

Penta-Ocean Orders First Japanese-Built Wind Turbine Installation Vessel

Japan’s Penta-Ocean Construction and Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) have signed a contract for the construction of one multi-purpose self-elevating platform vessel suitable for marine civil engineering works or offshore wind turbine installation in harsher weather and marine conditions.

Offshore WIND Staff

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Moray Offshore Renewables Met Mast to Undergo Repairs

Moray Offshore Renewables Meteorological Mast being assembled by Global Energy Group prior to the installation. Source: GE Group

Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd is getting ready to deploy a jack-up vessel to carry out repair works on the company’s meteorological mast structure in Moray Firth, Scotland, Kis-Orca reports.

The works will use the jack up vessel to install a ‘collar’ around the existing monopile structure directly above the gravity base caisson. The majority of the works will be below sea level, however the upper modules of the lattice mast will also be re-installed.

It is anticipated that the jack up vessel will mobilise to site on 31 July 2016 from Esbjerg Denmark, with works scheduled to commence on 1 August 2016 at the earliest.

It should be expected that a crew transfer vessel will be on site from the 29 July 2016.

The works are expected to complete on 28 August 2016, weather permitting.

In 2010, The Crown Estate awarded MORL development rights for offshore wind development in Zone 1 (Moray Firth).

MORL split the site into an Eastern and Western Development Area, and developed proposals for the Eastern Development area first, receiving consent from the Scottish Government for 1,116MW in 2014.

The met mast measures wind conditions at the site ahead of the construction of the wind farms.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Presenting Stephen Bolton, Chairman of the Offshore WIND Conference

Presenting Stephen Bolton, Chairman of the Offshore WIND Conference

Stephen Bolton, operations director at Bibby Marine Services, has been appointed as Chairman of this year’s Offshore WIND Conference which will be held in Amsterdam RAI on 24th and 25th October.

The theme of the Offshore WIND Conference this year is ‘Reaching Potential’ and will discuss the opportunities available in the industry and how the industry can develop its supply chain.

Bibby Marine Services is a good example of a company recognising the market possibilities and entering the supply chain.

Keen to learn more? Go to to register.

Also, if you are further interested in Bibby Marine Services you can read more about them in our fourth edition of Offshore WIND out in October 2016.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

496MW French Offshore Wind Farm Gets New Layout

Source: MRE-Pays de la Loire

A 496MW wind farm project proposed to be built of the French Vendée islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier has exited the risk addressing and consultation phase which resulted in a new layout plan for the wind farm. 

Following a series of consultations and public debates, it was decided to extend the space between the wind turbines to 1,600 metres instead of 900 to 1,200 metres as planned earlier, and to place them in line rather than staggered in order to reduce the impact on fishing and limit the visual impact.

The consultations and debates also helped confirm the initial technological choices, including the use of jacket-type metal structure foundations.

The Yeu-Noirmoutier wind farm is the second offshore wind farm project off the Pays de la Loire region, expected to be operational from 2021.

The project was selected in the second government call for offshore wind projects. It is managed by the company Éoliennes en mer Îles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier, whose shareholders are Engie and EDP Renewables, now in partnership with Groupe Caisse des Dépôts who acquired the Neoen Marine share in April.

Adwen, the industrial partner, will manufacture 62 8MW wind turbines for the project.

Upcoming administrative milestones for the project include filing of applications for authorisation, to be conducted over 2017, and the public inquiry.

The set-up and operation of the park is expected to have an impact on the entire region, initially on the Port of Nantes – Saint-Nazaire, but also on the ports of Noirmoutier and Yeu islands, the operational bases for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.

The developers have recently set up information points about the park on both islands to allow the tourists and island populations to learn about the proposed offshore wind farm.

A representative of the project team will be at the reception areas two days a week to talk with visitors and answer their questions.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Photos of the Day: First Burbo Bank Nacelles Score Belfast Touchdown


MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has shared several photos of the first four of 32 nacelles for DONG Energy’s 258MW Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm arriving at the company’s pre-assembly site in the Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland.

The first four 390-tonne nacelles arrived to Belfast last night onboard Meriaura’s multipurpose deck cargo carrier Aura.

Work at MHI Vestas’ pre-assembly site in Belfast commenced in April 2016 and since then the first towers have been fully assembled, tested and pre-commissioned, ready for offshore installation.


The first six 80-metre long blades for the project have also recently been delivered to the site. The blades for the V164-8.0 MW turbines were designed, tested and manufactured at the MHI Vestas blade factory on the Isle of Wight.

When completed next year, Burbo Bank Extension will be the first large-scale wind farm to deploy the new MHI Vestas 8.0 MW turbine. The first of the wind farm’s 32 turbines will be installed in September.


The Burbo Bank Extension is being developed by Burbo Bank Extension Ltd which is owned by DONG Energy Wind Power (50%), PKA (25%) and Kirkbi A/S (25%).

The wind farm, located 8 kilometres off the coast in Liverpool Bay, is an addition to the operational 90MW Burbo Bank.

Images: MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Prysmian Adds Third Cable Layer

Source: Prysmian Group

Prysmian Group has welcomed a third cable lay vessel, named Ulisse, to its fleet following a EUR 20 million investment.

Following the purchase from the ship owner EOS, the flat top barge has been converted into a 120 m by 33 m cable layer at the PaxOcean shipyard in Singapore.

Renamed Ulisse, she now has an eight point spread mooring system and is capable of transporting 7,000 tonnes of cable in a 30 m diameter carousel.

The vessel can be equipped with a carousel loading pick-up arm and a stern mounted cable chute for loading and surface lay operations.

Ulisse has now joined Prysmian’s other two cable layers: Giulio Verne and Cable Enterprise.

“Our objective is to have a more comprehensive control of our supply chain by insourcing a greater part of the installation work and to further boost the Group’s submarine project execution capabilities with a flexible asset that can both transport submarine cables and perform cable lay and burial installation operations in shallow waters,” said Massimo Battaini, Energy Projects Senior Vice President at Prysmian Group.

“Thanks to this new vessel we can offer an ever wider and more versatile range of installation services, thus strengthening our position in a highly strategic sector for the Group.”

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

ORE Catapult to create 'digital clone' of 7MW turbine

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK: The UK’s offshore wind innovation centre has been awarded £215,000 from the Scottish government to create a “digital clone” of its 7MW turbine in order to further understand its behaviours.

Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

US utility pledges $1bn for Iowa wind

Alliant Energy said it is looking to expand its 200MW Whispering Willow project in Franklin County, northern Iowa.

It said it was looking to maximise the renewable energy tax credit, following the five-year extension of the production tax credit in December.

Developers must begin construction or have spent a proportion of project capital by the end of 2016 to qualify for the full PTC before it begins its phase out.

“Our customers expect low-cost, clean energy, which is exactly what this project will bring to the communities we serve. Wind has no fuel costs and zero emissions, making it a win-win for Iowans and the Iowa economy,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility.

Alliant Energy said it also generates an additional 1GW and purchases 600 megawatts of wind power in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Vestas will service the Whispering Willow project for another five years through its UpWind Solutions subsidiary. The project currently comprises 122 Vestas V82 1.65MW turbines, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

The announcement from Alliant comes after Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy announcing a $3.6 billion investment in building 2GW of wind in Iowa in April.

Vestas signed a conditional agreement in June to supply turbines to the 2GW MidAmerican cluster.

Iowa has over 6.3GW of installed capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s latest quarterly report.

Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

TenneT to Break Ground for NordLink Mid-September

Source: ABB

Transmission system operator TenneT will hold a ground breaking ceremony for the 1.4GW NordLink, a subsea HVDC power cable which will connect Norwegian and German power grids, in Wilster, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on 16 September. 

Stretching over 623 kilometers, the NordLink interconnection is rated at ±525 kilovolt (kV), and it will be the first direct power link between the German and Norwegian electricity markets once it is completed at the end of 2019.

The link will enable power trading of renewable energy between the two countries. Germany’s surplus renewable power can be transmitted via NordLink to help Norway cope with high power demand and conserve water in its many hydropower reservoirs. At the other end of the link, Norway can export hydropower to help Germany meet fluctuating daily power demand.

Back in March 2015, ABB won a contract to design, engineer, supply and commission two ±525 kV, 1,400 MW converter stations for the project. One station will be situated near Tonstad in southern Norway and the other near Wilster, where the ground-breaking ceremony will be held

ABB will also design, manufacture and install the 525 kV mass impregnated (MI) cable system in the German sector, with a route of 154 km submarine and 54 km underground.

The NordLink is a joint project of Tennet, Norway’s Statnett and Kfw.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

First Sandbank Turbine Up

Source: Vattenfall

Vattenfall and Stadtwerke München (SWM) have now erected the first of 72 Siemens SWT- 4.0 130 wind turbines at the 288 MW Sandbank offshore wind farm being built 90 kilometers west of the island of Sylt in the German part of the North Sea.

The erection of the towers on the foundations and the installation of the nacelles and rotor blades is being carried out by the installation vessel MPI Adventure.

During the commissioning phase of the wind turbines, the service operations vessel Acergy Viking will be used. By employing this modified type of ship, the project partners expect a significant three months gain of time compared to the original planning. This “walk-to-work” vessel features a special gangway system which enables the commissioning team to climb onto the wind turbines directly. The system also equalizes the effect of any waves caused by the motion of the ship, allowing transfer operations to be carried out with sea conditions of up to 2.5 metres in height. The new concept also plans for work to be carried out 24 hours per day. The concept is used in the North Sea around Germany for the first time with the construction of the Sandbank wind turbines.

Sandbank is expected to be put completely into operation at the beginning of 2017.

”We are delighted that we can start a little earlier with the erection of the wind turbines as originally planned. We now benefit from the excellent preparatory work done by our colleagues, who are responsible for the foundations, the inter array cabling and the substation. It also shows that the co-operation between all project partners works very well,” said Hergen Stolle, responsible package manager for wind turbines at Vattenfall.

The Sandbank offshore substation was installed in April. Work on the cabling for the wind farm has been finished, while the production of the nacelles, hubs and rotor blades for the wind turbines is ongoing. The 72 foundations for the wind turbines were fully erected in mid-February 2016.

The investment costs for the Sandbank offshore wind farm are around EUR 1.2 billion.

Vattenfall holds a 51% stake in Sandbank Offshore GmbH, which was set up to implement the project, while SWM holds a 49% stake. Sandbank is the second joint offshore wind project for Vattenfall and SWM. Together with its “sister-project” DanTysk, both wind power plants will provide a combined portfolio of 576 MW of installed generation capacity, making Vattenfall and SWM two of the largest operators of offshore wind farms in Germany.

Christian Vogt, Head of Corporate Investment Management at Stadtwerke München, said: “With Sandbank another project of our Renewable Energies Expansion Campaign takes concrete form. With this campaign we want to produce by 2025 as much green energy as the city of Munich consumes. Sandbank will help us to achieve this goal significantly. I am very pleased to see the work in such good progress and without problems. Moreover, I thank all those who contribute with their commitment to the success of this very complex project.”

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News