BOEM Contracts TNO, CSA, Oasis for Renewable Energy Acoustic Propagation Study

CSA Ocean Sciences, Oasis, and Dutch company TNO Maritime & Offshore have been awarded a contract from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a project related to underwater noise during offshore wind construction offshore activities.

Use of offshore wind energy is expanding in Europe and North America. Individual offshore wind turbines are supported by large piles, of several meters in diameter, and the construction process requires these piles to be driven tens of meters into the seabed, resulting in concerns about possible adverse effects of construction noise on marine life, the project partners explained.

Such effects are routinely evaluated by carrying out environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for each wind farm, but no harmonised methodology presently exists to ensure EIAs carried out by different organisations would produce comparable results for the same construction.

To address this situation, BOEM has contracted the team of American and European experts in underwater sound propagation and bioacoustics, with the main goal of the project – called A Parametric Analysis and Sensitivity Study of the Acoustic Propagation for Renewable Energy Sources and Projects (PASS) – being providing BOEM with a harmonised acoustic propagation methodology for future environmental impact assessments.

TNO’s contributions to the project are to provide finite element predictions of the sound field close to a pile, to develop simple methods for extrapolating from measurements close to a pile, and to advise CSA and OASIS based on TNO’s experience on European construction projects.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

IHC IQIP Equipping SHL for Beatrice Foundation Installation

IHC IQIP will provide jacket pile grippers, the Hydrohammer S-2500 with two specially designed hammer sleeves, and an internal lifting tool to Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), which will install foundations at the Beatrice offshore wind farm.

The 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm, situated off the north coast of Scotland, will comprise 84 Siemens SWT-7.0-154 turbines founded on pre-piled jacket substructures, which will be installed in water depths of up to 55m.

To install the foundations, SHL will use the equipment from or developed together with IHC IQIP. “The cooperation on this project has resulted in improving existing equipment concepts having a positive impact on the installation methodology for both foundation piles and jackets,” IHC IQIP said.

For the Beatrice jacket foundations – produced by Smulders, Bladt and BiFab – IHC IQIP is supplying the jacket pile grippers (JPGs), which will prevent relative displacement between jacket structure and pre-installed piles during grouting and curing. The JPGs are welded to the jacket structures at the jacket fabrication sites.

Production of the JPGs at IHC IQIP’s yard in Sliedrecht has already commenced and delivery to the jacket fabrication yards has started, with the last delivery scheduled for early 2018. For the 84 jackets to be fabricated, a total of 336 JPGs will be delivered and commissioned.

Furthermore, SHL will use the Hydrohammer S-2500 and its specially designed hammer sleeves, suitable for driving piles up to a minimum stick-up height of 2m. The newly-developed sleeves – combined with the retractable spacers inside the sleeves of the pre-piling template – have been designed to drive piles without using a large follower resulting in a significant reduction in required deck storage space and handling of heavy equipment, according to IHC IQIP.

Also, the Beatrice project will see the company’s 1,200t internal lifting tool (ILT) being used for deploying and recovery of the pre-piling template and subsequently for stabbing of the individual piles into the sleeves of the pre-piling template. At a later phase, the same ILT will be used for jacket installation.

The pre-piling template will enable installing piles at the precise location, the appropriate inclination and stick-up height prior to installing the jacket.

SHL and IQIP jointly developed pre-piling template up to the basic design level. IHC IQIP provided the solution to avoid the use of followers by incorporating spacers in the template. These can be retracted during pile-driving to create enough space for the hammer and sleeve ensuring no follower is required, improving both efficiency and accuracy of the pile installation process significantly, IHC IQIP said. The detailed design, procurement and fabrication has been done by SHL.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

China Okays ABB Medium Voltage Wind Turbine Converter

ABB’s PCS6000 medium voltage wind turbine converter has received product certification from the China General Certification Center (CGC).

The certification confirms that the ABB PCS6000 converter complies with all of the requirements related to technical design, efficiency, reliability, protection and safety.

The certification process involved assessments of the converter’s test results, including functional, heat-run, vibration, climatic, EMC and protection tests.

PCS6000 is the first medium voltage wind turbine converter to receive the CGC certification. In addition to CGC, it also holds the DNV-GL GL-IV-2:2012 product certification.

The PCS6000 medium voltage wind turbine converter is suitable for large-scale offshore wind turbines. Available up to 12MW, it can be operated with permanent magnet and induction generators.

PCS6000 wind converters have been operating in offshore conditions since 2010. To date a total 1GW of offshore wind turbines in German and Chinese offshore wind farms are using the PCS6000 converter technology inside.

Stephan Ebner, ABB’s Segment Manager for Renewables said: “This certificate is a significant strategic move for ABB to further support wind projects in China. We have a strong focus on developing our offshore wind business and consider China as one of our key markets. The PCS6000 wind turbine converter is the perfect match for this market because of its wide power range, reliable and robust design and wind application specific features.”

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

JBA Joins THMA for Stronger Industry Foothold

JBA Consulting, a UK scientific and engineering consultancy firm, has signed a membership agreement with Team Humber Marine Alliance (THMA) to strengthen its expansion into the marine, maritime and offshore sectors across the Humber region. 

JBA’s marine activities are focused on the delivery of metocean risk management services using its metocean forecasting and planning tool – ForeCoast Marine.

Through this new partnership with THMA, JBA hopes to accelerate the uptake of its metocean risk management software by the region’s thriving marine, maritime and offshore sector. “The Humber region is full of opportunity and with the THMA’s support, we look forward to building on our success in the thriving offshore sector,” Mark Lawless, Director at JBA, said.

Mark O’Reilly, CEO & Chairman of THMA, said: “The supply chain in the marine, maritime and offshore sector around the Yorkshire and Humber region is growing in strength and depth. The addition of JBA into our membership is hugely welcomed, bringing in cutting edge services and solutions to meet the demands of the burgeoning offshore sector”.

“THMA has also developed high quality relationships around Europe and the USA, encouraging its members to explore growing international opportunities, which offer excellent potential for innovative companies such as JBA,” O’Reilly added.

At the beginning of 2016, JBA teamed up with ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) and the Met Office to apply ForeCoast Marine to two of SPR’s offshore wind farms: Wikinger and East Anglia ONE. For the Wikinger project, the software has been used to inform installation activities, while for East Anglia ONE it has been assigned to explore the impacts of different O&M strategies.

Also, the software had been employed during the first phase of offshore construction of the Rampion offshore wind farm, which ended in November 2016.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Drones attracting increasing market attention

Siemens will work with SkySpecs to “develop a push-button inspection system that is faster, repeatable and more efficient than existing methods,” the US firm said.

SkySpecs, launched in 2012, said the German turbine manufacturer will help “refine its technology for utility-scale wind turbine inspections and prepare it for commercial readiness”.

Using drones for checks is expected to create a number of costs savings, as it removes the need for an engineer to work at height on ropes. Drones can also examine turbines in more detail than ground-based inspections.

“The autonomous drone technology supports our [digitalisation] initiative in generating high quality field data about the condition of our wind turbines. This is particularly valuable for our offshore business, where completing inspections quickly, safely and cost effectively is of critical importance,” said Siemens Wind chief technology officer Ruediger Knauf.

SkySpecs is hoping to develop a full automated drone check. “The baseline solution allows drones to take off, capture high-resolution images of all four sides of each blade, return and land in under 15 minutes. The blades do not need to be stopped in any particular orientation,” the company explained.

Offshore application

The use of drones has already been demonstrated earlier this month by offshore wind project developer and operator Innogy.

In early February, the German firm said it used drones for the first time to check on the blades at its Nord See Ost offshore wind project.

“If an expert is close to the blade and can directly see it at close range, this is, of course, the best option. However, the rope-assisted inspection is very complex,” said Wolf Kind, senior asset integrity manager for the Nordsee Ost project.

“With the drone, we are hoping for time savings and thus a lower production loss,” Kind added.

Drones are seeing increasing attention from the wind industry, with some major players taking a close look.

In September, German manufacturer Nordex signed a drone partnership deal with aviation firm Lufthansa Aerial Services to inspect its turbine fleet.

And in October, Danish developer Dong Energy helped fund a trial in to use drones for bird assessment programmes.

Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

LM sees 40% increase in revenue

This was aided by a 35% increase in revenue in Q4, which totalled €280.9 billion – up from €207.7 billion a year earlier, the company said in its interim 2016 report.

The Danish firm said the strong performance was down to higher volumes, with the inclusion of its Brazilian business, which had previously not been counted as it was part of a joint venture, and a new factory in India.

“All regions delivered double-digit year-on-year revenue growth at both actual and constant exchange rates,” the company said.

LM said net profit for 2016 was €51.7 million, up from €5.9 million in 2015.

The strong performance comes just before GE completes its acquisition of the blade developer and manufacturer.

GE’s €1.5 billion takeover of LM Wind Power was announced in October.

The US manufacturer intends to operate the blade manufacturer as a “standalone unit” under its renewable energy business.

GE said the takeover of LM, subject to regulatory approvals, should be completed in H1 2017 and should begin benefiting GE’s earnings from 2018.

Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

NKT takeover of ABB approved by EC



DENMARK: The European Commission (EC) has approved NKT Cables’ takeover of ABB’s high-voltage cable business, stating the merged company would continue to provide competition in the European market.

Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

DONG Energy Allocates First Walney Extension Skills Fund

DONG Energy has revealed details of its Walney Extension community skills fund which will invest GBP 100,000 a year for the next 25 years into equipping people to work in engineering industries in the coastal areas of Lancashire and Cumbria.

The money has been made available as part of the community benefit fund in support of the 660MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm, currently under construction nine kilometres off the Cumbrian coast, near Barrow-in Furness.

The first GBP 100,000 Skills Fund allocation will channel GBP 45,000 towards funding of scholarships for up to seven students to undertake specific engineering courses at Furness College. This annual funding will also in the future support students who would otherwise have been unable to afford to participate in the courses.

The first Skills Fund will also provide GBP 35,000 to the Royal Academy of Engineering for the Barrow Engineering Project and the Furness Education and Skills Partnership, which is being match-funded by the Furness Economic Development Forum. This will allow them to recruit two locally based co-coordinators to work with primary and secondary schools, colleges and employers in and around Barrow-in-Furness.

The remaining GBP 20,000 will go towards hardship grants being shared to support students facing financial difficulties at Blackpool and Fylde College, Furness College, and Lancaster & Morecambe College.

Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK Country Chairman, said: “DONG Energy is committed to large-scale investment and growth in the communities in which we operate. We want to ensure students leave local colleges with the skills, qualifications and aspiration to access the growing number of job opportunities being created in sectors like offshore wind in their own regions. Investing in education is part of DONG Energy’s long term strategy. We will be supporting a range of skilled jobs in the area over the coming decades in order to maintain and operate our windfarms. We want to ensure these opportunities are accessible to local people.”

Walney Extension is due to be completed in 2019 when it will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, capable of meeting the electricity needs of 500,000 UK homes.

A GBP 15 million Community Benefit Fund was announced last year which will support local projects with grants totaling around GBP 500,000 each year. An additional GBP 100,000 a year was ring-fenced for the Skills Fund.

Kate Coleburn, Head of Area for Technical and Build Engineering at Furness College, said the bursaries were designed for those who are not currently in employment or who want to retrain as engineers.

“Some people have the skills to be world-class engineers but they may struggle to finance themselves through courses that can help them realise their dream. For others, this could open up a career change where they take advantage of the growth in the engineering sector locally,” Coleburn said.

“Through this scheme DONG Energy has created a wonderful opportunity that breaks down financial barriers to achieving higher education qualifications including achieving a degree.”

The community benefit fund is being managed for DONG Energy by the national charity Grantscape.

The Walney Extension OWF is located next to the 367.2MW Walney offshore wind farm. The wind farm will consist of 40 8MW MHI Vestas and 47 7MW Siemens wind turbines.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

The Crown Estate Appoints Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure Portfolio Advisors

The Crown Estate has awarded the legal mandate to advise its Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure businesses to Hogan Lovells International LLP and Bond Dickinson LLP.

Hogan Lovells will advise The Crown Estate’s renewable energy business, which includes the offshore wind portfolio that now meets around 5% of the annual UK electricity requirement and is expected to grow to 10% by 2020.

Bond Dickinson will advise The Crown Estate’s minerals and infrastructure business, including interests in marine aggregates and subsea cables and pipelines.

The appointments follow a tender process commenced in September 2016.

Rob Booth, General Counsel and Company Secretary of The Crown Estate, said: “We are very happy to announce these appointments, which support our continued delivery of a best in class legal service across The Crown Estate. We have great confidence in Bond Dickinson and Hogan Lovells; advising on this highly strategic portfolio of assets.”

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Siemens and SkySpecs Fine-Tuning Flying Blade Inspectors

Siemens is collaborating with US-based company SkySpecs to deploy automated drone technology for onshore and offshore wind turbine blade inspections.

The goal of the collaboration is to develop a push-button inspection system that is faster, repeatable and more efficient than existing methods.

Siemens is involving its Wind Power business and its next47 venture unit, which was established in October 2016, to accelerate the development of new technologies. SkySpecs was founded in 2012 and is the first company to demonstrate fully autonomous wind turbine inspections.

SkySpecs enables wind farm owners, ISPs, and OEMs to monitor and track the health of their wind turbines with a 15-minute automated robotic inspection. The single push of a button launches a drone, which surveys all sides of three blades, collecting high-resolution images that identify cracks, erosion, lightning strikes and other anomalies. Data is sent to a web portal for viewing, annotating, and reporting.

Siemens is collaborating with SkySpecs to refine its technology for utility-scale wind turbine inspections and prepare it for commercial readiness. The joint effort is expected to enable Siemens to incorporate more advanced preventive maintenance techniques using SkySpecs’ technology.

“The autonomous drone technology supports our ‘Digitalization@Wind’ initiative in generating high quality field data about the condition of our wind turbines. This is particularly valuable for our offshore business, where completing inspections quickly, safely and cost effectively is of critical importance. Siemens Wind Power and SkySpecs can mutually benefit from this collaboration via next47, in sharing and co-developing technology and expertise. I am confident that we can bring blade inspection to the next level,” Siemens Wind Power Chief Technology Officer Ruediger Knauf said.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News