2016: When Great Things Happened

We are leaving what has arguably been the best year for offshore wind so far with a hope that the one ahead of us will be at least as eventful and successful as 2016 was, if not better.

The Eurocents

This year, we saw several tenders resulting in record low prices.

First, there was Borssele I & II in the Netherlands, where DONG Energy beat the competition by submitting the lowest bid with an average of 7.27 Eurocents per kilowatt hour. Then, Vattenfall won the Danish nearshore wind tender for Vesterhav Syd and Vesterhav Nord sites with a bid price of 6 Eurocents per kWh (DKK 0.475/kWh).

Two months later, Vattenfall made headlines again by winning the Kriegers Flak tender in Denmark with an offered price of 5 Eurocents per kWh (EUR 49.9 /MWh).

Finally, the second tender in the Netherlands for Borssele III & IV sites saw another record price of 5.45 Eurocents, offered by the winning consortium between Eneco, Van Oord, Mitsubishi Corporation and oil & gas giant Shell. This marked Shell’s second bid at the Dutch tenders, since the company participated in the first one as well.

Going green

Shortly after winning the rights to build the Borssele III & IV offshore wind farms, Shell announced it is investing in Kite Power Systems, a start-up developing high-altitude wind power generation technology, together with E.ON and Schlumberger.

A couple of days later, the company informed it has entered into an offtake agreement for 100% of the power generated from the Egmond aan Zee offshore wind farm, in which holds a 50% stake.

In line with oil & gas companies tapping more and more into the offshore wind market, some half a year ago, the Crown Estate granted a lease to Statoil that enabled the company to start the construction of its 30MW Hywind Scotland project, which is set to be the world’s largest floating wind farm.

In December, Statoil marked another record as it secured lease rights for the development of an offshore wind farm off the coast of the US state of New York by offering a record USD 42.5 million (approx. EUR 41 million) at the US government’s auction.

Around the Globe

In 2016, offshore wind gained momentum out of Europe, which is still leading with the development and installation of this technology.

Breaking news on the results of the latest lease sale in the US came just after the country’s first offshore wind farm, set up off Block Island, went into commercial operation.

Taiwan is becoming an attractive market for developers, both domestic and foreign, as Taipower set ambitious plans and DONG Energy revealed its intention to build four wind farms.

Furthermore, Japan is gearing up for a boom in offshore wind projects with New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) supporting the development of two offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 270MW, the city of Kitakyushu auctioning 2,687 hectares of water area for nearshore wind farms, and Hitachi Zosen and Ideol working on their 2-turbine floating wind project.

And it is worth to mention that Russia got onto the offshore wind map with the recent agreement between Chinese company Sinomec and the government of the Russian republic of Karelia, under which a 60MW offshore wind farm will be installed off Kemsky District and the construction is set to start as early as 2017.

World’s largest

Not only did offshore wind grew in terms of geography, but also in size of the components and the wind farms themselves.

Aside from the abovementioned Statoil’s Hywind Scotland, the world’s largest floating wind farm, the offshore wind industry saw more than one “world’s largest” during these past twelve months.

In early 2016, DONG Energy reached final investment decision on its 1.2GW Hornsea Project One, which will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, once built.

Then, Seajacks Scylla, deemed the world’s largest offshore wind jack-up vessel, installed the world’s heaviest monopile at Veja Mate.

Burbo Bank Extension became the first home for the world’s most powerful wind turbine currently on the market.

Also, Adwen and LM Wind Power presented the world’s longest blade, followed by Adwen and Winergy introducing the largest wind turbine gearbox.

First goodbyes

Our old and worn-out spinning friends have already started leaving, after setting the offshore wind stage for what we are witnessing now.

At the beginning of the year, Vattenfall dismantled five wind turbines with a total capacity of 10 megawatt (MW) which made up the Yttre Stengrund wind farm in Kalmar Sound, Sweden.

A little after that, DONG Energy informed it is preparing to decommission Vindeby, the world’s first offshore wind farm, located in Denmark.

Furthermore, Nuon, part of Vattenfall, decommissioned four offshore wind turbines that made up the Lely offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.

The 10MW Beatrice Demonstration wind farm in the UK and German 5MW Hooksiel projects were also dismantled this year.

2017 kick-offs

Not to worry much about the offshore wind farms that disappeared from the horizon, the ongoing projects will make sure there are more wind turbines installed at sea over the following twelve months.

The 350MW Wikinger wind farm in German part of the Baltic Sea is scheduled to be operational in 2017, same as its 402MW compatriot Veja Mate.

Listed for entering the operational phase next year are also UK’s 258MW Burbo Bank Extension and 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind farms.

When it comes to construction, offshore works for German 385MW Arkona offshore wind project, as well as UK 41.5MW Blyth Demonstrator and 588MW Beatrice are expected to start next year.

Also, the 714MW East Anglia ONE in the UK is set to enter construction phase in 2017.

This article covers only a small portion of milestones offshore wind reached in 2016 (and those set to be reached in 2017) so it may not be completely wrong to conclude that we witnessed an amazing year for offshore wind.


Written and edited by Adrijana Buljan and Adnan Duraković, Offshore WIND Staff.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

East Anglia THREE Step Closer to Development Consent

The UK Planning Inspectorate has completed the examination of the application for an order granting development consent for the 1.2GW East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm.

The findings and conclusions arising from the examination, together with a recommendation from the Examining Authority (ExA) panel, will be sent to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy no later than 28 March 2017, according to Philip Asquith, Lead Member of the Panel of Examining Inspectors.

The East Anglia THREE application was submitted by ScottishPower Renewables in November 2015 and accepted for examination the following month.

East Anglia THREE will comprise up to 172 wind turbines installed across an area of 305km² off the coast of Suffolk in the southern North Sea.

It is anticipated that the project will support up to 4,800 jobs in the UK during the construction phase, with around 2,900 jobs created in the East of England region alone.

If the planning application gets approval, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2021, with offshore work starting in 2022 and first power generation achieved in 2023.

ScottishPower Renewables is currently developing the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, a GBP 2 billion project comprising 102 turbines with a combined capacity of 714MW. Pre-construction works for the project are expected to start in January 2017.

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VIDEO: Block Island Cable Installation

Kokosing’s Durocher Marine Division installed six miles of subsea cables for America’s first offshore wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island.

All of the cables for the 30MW Block Island wind farm were installed by the end of July 2016.

The wind farm came online on 12 December, feeding the first power generated by offshore turbines to the grid.

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Bard Offshore 1 Raises Production Bar Higher

In yet another first for German offshore wind farms, Ocean Breeze Energy has reported that Bard Offshore 1 generated more than 3.5 TWh of electricity from its commissioning in late 2013 to November 2016.

The wind farm generated over 500 GWh of electricity from June 2016 to November 2016.

Bard Offshore 1 is located 100 kilometers northwest of Borkum and comprises 80 BARD 5.0 MW wind turbines with a total capacity of 400 MW. The wind turbines are installed at water depths of up to 40 metres.

Ocean Breeze Energy is the owner and operator of the wind farm. Ocean Breeze is in turn 100% indirectly held by UniCredit Bank AG, Munich.

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VIDEO: Siem Duo Gets Busy at Nordsee One

Siem Offshore Contractors GmbH ( SOC) has shared a video of two of its vessels, the cable lay vessel Siem Aimery and the installation support vessel Siem Moxie, laying inter-array cables at the 332MW Nordsee One offshore wind farm in the North Sea.

Siem worked at the site from June to August 2016. The inter-array cables were supplied by JDR Cable Systems.

Once installed, the wind farm’s 54 6.15MW turbines will be connected to the offshore substation by ten strings of cables with an overall length of approximately 70 kilometres.

Siem is in charge of supplying and installing the inter-array cables for Nordsee One. The submarine cables have a diameter of up to 160 mm.

Nordsee One is owned by Northland Power Inc. (85%) and RWE International SE (15%). The wind farm is located approximately 40 kilometres north of the island of Juist in the German part of the North Sea.

The commissioning is scheduled for 2017.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Taiwan Pushes West Coast Wind Farms Further Offshore

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has issued a set of regulations to minimise the impact of offshore wind projects on local fauna, according to local media.

The new regulations, set out in a document titled “Offshore Wind Power Development”, stipulate that the wind farms off the west coast of Taiwan must be located at least 1,000 meters away from the breeding grounds of the white dolphins.

These critically endangered marine mammals usually congregate between Miaoli County and Tainan City on Taiwan’s west coast, and can be found in waters of up to 15 meters.

EPA advised that future offshore wind farms should be built in deeper waters further offshore to avoid any possible impact on the species.

The regulations were issued following requests from a number of environmental groups for EPA to conduct a more detailed investigation on the possible impacts of offshore energy projects on Taiwan’s west coast.

The new regulations come weeks after Taiwan reached a major milestone when the first two offshore wind turbines were installed at the Formosa 1 wind farm offshore Miaoli County.

The two 4MW turbines are the first phase in setting up the Formosa 1 offshore wind farm. The installation of turbines was completed in October with the wind farm expected to be commissioned in early 2017.

The entire project consists of 32 turbines, with the second phase planned to be constructed in 2018/2019.

It is yet unclear how the new regulations will affect the Formosa 1 wind farm which is situated some 3 kilometres offshore in water depths of between 15 and 17 metres.

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GeoSea Installs First Foundation at Galloper

Offshore marine engineering specialist GeoSea installed the first of fifty-six turbine foundations at the 336MW Galloper offshore wind farm on Wednesday, 28th December.

The components are being loaded-out onto the GeoSea installation vessel, Innovation, in Rotterdam and Vlissingen, with the installation phase planned to be complete by early summer next year.

Tideway, part of Deme Group, is carrying out the scour protection works for the foundations, with the programme of works well underway.

GeoSea sub-contracted Sif Group and Smulders to produce the monopiles and transition pieces. Each foundation is around 85 metres in length and 7.5 metres in diameter, and weighs around up to 1,200 tonnes.

The installation of the fifty-six 6MW Siemens turbines is expected to start in the early summer of 2017.

Project Director, Toby Edmonds, said: “This time last year we had recently achieved Financial Close for the project and announced our new project partners. In the last year we have built the majority of the onshore substation infrastructure; connected the first of two export cables; opened the project Offshore Construction Coordination Base in Lowestoft; celebrated the Siemens assembly base ground-breaking ceremony in Great Yarmouth; and submitted the planning application for our Operations & Maintenance Base in Harwich. Next year, the bulk of our focus will, of course, be on offshore construction, but we will also be finishing the installation of the onshore electrical infrastructure and constructing the Operations & Maintenance base.”

Galloper offshore wind farm, located approximately 30 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, is an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard wind farm and represents an expected investment potential of around GBP 1.5 billion.

innogy SE is leading the development and construction of the project on behalf of its partners who also include the UK Green Investment Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Gemini and Westermeerwind Triple Dutch Offshore Wind Capacity in 2016

The Netherlands has nearly tripled its installed offshore wind capacity in 2016 due to two major projects coming online during the year.

The two wind farms which were hooked up to the grid in 2016 are the 600MW Gemini offshore wind farm in the North Sea and the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore wind farm in the IJsselmeer lake.

The country’s installed offshore wind capacity at the end of 2015 stood at 373.8MW.

The fully commissioned wind farms at the time included the 129MW Eneco Luchterduinen, the 120MW Prinses Amaliawindpark, the 108MW Eegmond aan Zee, and the 16.8MW Irene Vorrink nearshore wind farm.

With the addition of the Gemini and the Westermeerwind, the country currently has 1,117.8 MW of installed offshore wind capacity.

It should be noted that, even though all of Gemini’s 150 turbines started feeding power to the grid in December 2016, the wind farm is yet to be fully commissioned in early 2017 following the completion of final tests and works.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Gemini and Westermeerwind Triple Holland’s Offshore Wind Capacity in 2016

The Netherlands has nearly tripled its installed offshore wind capacity in 2016 due to two major projects coming online during the year.

The two wind farms which were hooked up to the grid in 2016 are the 600MW Gemini offshore wind farm in the North Sea and the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore wind farm in the IJsselmeer lake.

The country’s installed offshore wind capacity at the end of 2015 stood at 373.8MW.

The fully commissioned wind farms at the time included the 129MW Eneco Luchterduinen, the 120MW Prinses Amaliawindpark, the 108MW Eegmond aan Zee, and the 16.8MW Irene Vorrink nearshore wind farm.

With the addition of the Gemini and the Westermeerwind, the country currently has 1,117.8 MW of installed offshore wind capacity.

It should be noted that, even though all of Gemini’s 150 turbines started feeding power to the grid in December 2016, the wind farm is yet to be fully commissioned in early 2017 following the completion of final tests and works.

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Italy Approves Fixed Price Tariff for First Offshore Wind Project

Italy’s renewable energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) has awarded a 30MW near shore wind project off Taranto with a 25-year fixed price tariff.

Belenergia S.A., the developer of the Beleolico 30MW offshore wind farm, secured the tariff at a maximum price of EUR 161.7/MWh, a 2% decrease compared to the starting price of EUR165/MWh set out in the June 2016 auction.

The wind farm is located in the outer harbor of the port of Taranto. It will comprise 10 MHI Vestas 3MW turbines installed some 100 metres off the coast.

The project was expected to secure the tariff as it was the only one of its kind suitable to compete for subsidies under a draft decree on renewable energy issued in 2015 which reserved exactly 30MW for offshore wind power.

Total construction costs are estimated at around EUR 63 million.

Belenergia plans to start constructing the wind farm in early 2017, with the full commissioning scheduled for 2018.

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