International lenders back Serbia's largest site

The finance package will go towards the €300 million project being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana.

The developer is owned by Tesla Wind — a 60:40 joint venture between United Arab Emirates-based investor Masdar and Cibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of US developer Continental Wind Partners, the EBRD said.

Project financing also includes loans from Banca Intesa, Erste Bank, UniCredit, and the Green for Growth Fund, according to Masdar.

The site, located 50km north-east of capital Belgrade, will comprise 57 GE 2.75-120 turbines when it is completed in 2019. It will be Masdar’s first European onshore wind project in Europe. It also owns stakes in three UK offshore wind projects.

“The development of the largest wind farm in the western Balkans is a pivotal moment for the expansion of renewables in the region and positions Serbia at the forefront of Europe’s fastest-growing alternative energy sector,” said Tesla Wind chairman Yousif Al Ai.

The project is the latest in a series of project developments happening in Serbia since the government passed legislation in August 2016 backing 500MW of wind in new power laws.

Last month, the IFC pledged a €19.1m loan to Belgian developer Elicio to build a 42MW site, also in northern Serbia.

In June, Serbia elected Ana Brnabic as its prime minister. Brnabic was previously a director at Continental Wind Partners in Serbia and led the country’s wind power association.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Middle East ripe for wind-powered kite systems

The most favourable regions for high-altitude wind energy in the Middle East are over parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman, the team from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) concluded.

This was due to the Saudi Arabia’s vast area and Oman’s high wind speeds, as well as both countries’ consistent wind resources.

After analysing raw data from US space agency Nasa, the researchers claimed sufficiently large airborne wind energy systems (AWES) being deployed in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen, could help the five countries meet more than 75% of their energy consumption.

Wind resources generally become more abundant at higher altitudes, the KAUST team wrote in their study ‘High-altitude wind resources in the Middle East’, which appeared in weekly science journal Nature.

“Optimal altitudes for the turbines vary by region and with time of year and time of day,” author of the paper Andrew Yip said.

Wind supply is also more reliable higher up, leading some researchers to explore the possibilities of harnessing this wind power.

In California, Google-owned designer Makani is developing an aerodynamic wing tethered to the ground. Its latest prototype transfers up to 600kW to the grid, it claims.

Elsewhere, Shell-backed UK firm Kite Power Systems trialled a single 500kW pilot project in Scotland. It is reportedly planning to install an array of ten 500kW kite systems in 2020.

Current tethered kite technology would most likely allow harvesting of wind energy at heights of between 2-3 kilometres, but wind resources are even greater at higher altitudes, the KAUST researchers concluded.

The team now plans to focus on regional variations in how airborne wind energy systems might contribute to electricity grids.

It would look into how spacing these systems might offer insights into the impact of large-scale deployment.

“AWES presents an excellent opportunity to champion the technological transfer and development of a maturing next-generation technology in a region with an increasingly knowledge-based and energy-intensive economy,” the researchers wrote.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Dominion Energy seeks 300MW of wind or solar

The RfP is seeking projects of between 10MW and 150MW in Virigina, and able to be connected to DEV’s transmission or distribution system, the firm said.

DEV will consider power purchase agreements or the acqusition of the projects. Commercial operation is expected to begin in 2019 and 2020.

Developers or project owners have until 27 October to submit a notice of intent to bid, with final proposals expected by 1 December.

Currently, Virignia has no installed wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

In March 2017, authorities in Virginia approved an up-to-80MW project, in what is set to become the state’s first wind site.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality awarded developer Apex Clean Energy a “permit by rule” for the 25-turbine project.

The Rocky Forge Wind site is planned for an area of rural land in Botetourt County, northern Virginia.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Boralex and Infinergy target 325MW Scottish pipeline

The pipeline would consist of ten wind projects ranging from 6MW to 80MW, the companies said.

Under the JV, Canada-based Boralex would be able to acquire or resell the projects in the future.

The projects are at different stages of development, “from early stage to being on the verge of full authorisation”, the companies said in a joint statement.

Infinergy and Boralex have committed to investing £6.6 million (€7.43 million) and £5.5 million (€6.18 million) until 2019 respectively to aid development of the pipeline.

Boralex chief executive officer Patrick Lemaire said the company was attracted to Scotland because of its support for renewable energy.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader, and head of the devolved Scottish government, Nicola Sturgeon, last week vowed to establish a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company to deliver Scottish-produced renewable energy.

“With Scotland’s strong political will to support the growth of all its renewable energy sources, we are excited to start working with our new partners Infinergy,” Lemaire said.

“We are confident that Boralex will be able to contribute its unparalleled experience as a wind developer to complement Infinergy’s.

“We share the common objectives to develop, build and operate as many projects as possible over the next five to seven years,” he added. 

Esbjorn Wilmar, chief executive of Infinergy, which also formed a JV with project adviser Greensolver in April, added: “We are very pleased to team up with a new partner who shares our positive outlook on renewable energy in general and the opportunities for onshore wind in Scotland in particular.” 

Boralex is currently developing nearly 70MW of projects in Scotland.

According to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, UK developer Infinergy is developing the planned 50MW Lambdoughty project, and owns the 39MW Tom nan Clach site which is under construction.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Boralex and Infinergy targets 325MW Scottish pipeline

The pipeline would consist of ten wind projects ranging from 6MW to 80MW, the companies said.

Under the JV, Canada-based Boralex would be able to acquire or resell the projects in the future.

The projects are at different stages of development, “from early stage to being on the verge of full authorisation”, the companies said in a joint statement.

Infinergy and Boralex have committed to investing £6.6 million (€7.43 million) and £5.5 million (€6.18 million) until 2019 respectively to aid development of the pipeline.

Boralex chief executive officer Patrick Lemaire said the company was attracted to Scotland because of its support for renewable energy.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader, and head of the devolved Scottish government, Nicola Sturgeon, last week vowed to establish a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company to deliver Scottish-produced renewable energy.

“With Scotland’s strong political will to support the growth of all its renewable energy sources, we are excited to start working with our new partners Infinergy,” Lemaire said.

“We are confident that Boralex will be able to contribute its unparalleled experience as a wind developer to complement Infinergy’s.

“We share the common objectives to develop, build and operate as many projects as possible over the next five to seven years,” he added. 

Esbjorn Wilmar, chief executive of Infinergy, which also formed a JV with project adviser Greensolver in April, added: “We are very pleased to team up with a new partner who shares our positive outlook on renewable energy in general and the opportunities for onshore wind in Scotland in particular.” 

Boralex is currently developing nearly 70MW of projects in Scotland.

According to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, UK developer Infinergy is developing the planned 50MW Lambdoughty project, and owns the 39MW Tom nan Clach site which is under construction.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Australia ends clean energy target plans

The government rejected the recommendation by chief scientist Alan Finkel to create a CET made in a review of Australia’s energy sector in July.

Finkel’s report said the CET would allow all electricity generators to receive incentives, based on the emissions produced and in a technology-neutral way.

The CET was Finkel’s suggestion to replace the current federal renewable energy target (RET), which expires in 2020. The RET aimed for 33TWh of renewable generation. It was previously cut from 41TWh in 2015.

Instead, Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government has formed another technology-neutral system by removing levels of support or tax, “creating a level playing field for all energy sources”.

“The guarantee is made up of two parts that together will require energy retailers and some large users across the national electricity market to deliver reliable and lower emissions energy generation each year,” the government said in a statement.

The two parts of the new arrangement include a “reliability guarantee” to ensure the correct level of “dispatcahble energy… such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries”. The Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator will set the level.

The second promise is an “emissions guarantee” to “contribute to Australia’s international commitments”.

“This two-part guarantee will deliver affordable and reliable energy for households and businesses without subsidies, taxes, emissions trading schemes or carbon prices,” the government explained.

It hopes the new system will put lower consumers’ bills and reduce spot price volatility.

In addition to the new “guarantees”, Turnbull’s government has also arranged a new package supporting the domestic supply of gas.

The nation’s renewables trade body, the Clean Energy Council, has heavily criticised the proposals, claiming the government has blown a “golden opportunity”, and warned of another slowdown, like the one that crippled Australia’s renewable growth in 2015 and 2016.

“The federal government’s decision to walk away from a CET is likely to result in a substantial slowdown in new clean energy investment, meaning power prices will keep rising and voters will continue switching off,” the Clean Energy Council said.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said: “The CET was the best opportunity in years to lock in the long-term bipartisan energy policy needed to encourage investment in cleaner energy while improving system reliability and pushing down power prices.”

“A company which is thinking about investing in a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars needs to have confidence the goal posts won’t be moved halfway through the game,” Kane added.

“As the New South Wales government has noted, the state’s old coal and gas power stations struggled to deal with the heatwaves at the beginning of the year and the focus on reliability is welcome.

“We believe energy storage and demand management can provide much-improved reliability at times of high stress compared to the current system, but many people will be watching the final policy settings very closely.

“As an industry we will continue to push for the effective energy policy most Australians agree is urgently needed.”

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

RP Global sells majority stake in Croatian portfolio

Mirova, which owns the fund, had previously acquired a 49% stake in RP Global’s 43.7MW Danilo and 34.2MW Rudine wind farms on the Adriatic coast.

It has now invested an additional 46% of the two sites, bringing its total stake up to 95%.

Raphael Lance, head of Mirova Renewable Energy Funds said the investors’ decision was encouraged by the Croatian government last month raising energy prices and increasing quotas for eligible green energy producers.

“The recent renewed support of the Croatian government to green energy has been instrumental to comfort our investment decision,” he said.

Minority shareholder RP Global will remain responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the wind farms. It stated the transaction would enable it to further develop its international pipeline.

The Austrian developer has constructed more than 35 renewable energy plants — the majority of which are either hydro or wind projects.

RP Global CEO Jorge Rodriguez said: “We are now able to reinvest our funds while securing the wind farms’ smooth, long-term operation, which represents just the kind of ‘win-win’ business structure the industry needs to achieve Europe’s renewable energy targets.”

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Vestas' V120 turbine available in China

The manufacturer introduced the new 120-metre model to the market in response to customer demand for low- and ultra-low wind conditions, which are especially prevalent in the south east of the country, it said.

Vestas said the prototype of the V120-2.0/2.2MW will be installed in the first quarter of 2018, the company said.

The turbines to be used in the Chinese market will be produced locally in Tianjin, Vestas said, with first deliveries expected in Q1 2018.

It is also available in India, and the company had previously said the turbine would also be on sale in the United States.

Vestas introduced the turbine to the Chinese market ahead of the country’s annual trade fair, China Wind Power 2017 (17-19 October).

The V120-2.0/2.2 has a rotor swept area 19% larger than that of Vestas’ V110-2.0MW, and has an annual energy production (AEP) 13% greater than the 110-metre turbine, Vestas said.

“To meet customer demand and support the continued development of China’s wind power industry, Vestas is offering its most advanced products to China,” said the company’s group senior vice president and Vestas China president Kebao Yang. 

Vestas has installed more than 5.4GW in 16 provinces across the country, the company said.

Globally, the manufacturer has installed more than 19,000 turbines from its 2MW-class, spreading across 45 countries on six continents.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

SGRE downgrades 2017 forecast

SGRE now expects its financial year, which closed on 30 September, will record underlying earnings before interest and taxes to be €790m, down from the €900m forecasted.

“This disclosure relates to the regular assessment of the carrying value of certain assets in inventory mainly for the United States and South African markets, which affect certain subsidiaries of Siemens Gamesa, to mark them down to their current estimated realisable value,” CEO Markus Tacke said in a note to shareholders.

“The current market conditions and pricing pressure has resulted in the write–down of such inventories,” Tacke added.

In August, SGRE recorded a fall in sales and revenues in its first financial quarter results since the merger. Revenues fell 7% year-on-year to €2.69 million in the results. Sales reached 1.96GW-equivalent, a drop of 25% compared with the same period last year, SGRE reported.

The manufacturer added it had made a minimum of €230 million in synergies following the merger of Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa earlier this year.

Speaking at the blade factory opening in Morocco last week, the group’s onshore CEO Ricardo Chocarro said the integration of the two firms could be completed a year earlier in the third year of operation, instead of the fourth year as originally planned.

SGRE will report its full-year financial figures on 6 November. The manufacturer’s share price opened 5.25% lower this morning (16 October) at €11.90/share.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Invenergy notifies Poland of power deals dispute

The US wind investor today submitted a letter to senior Polish government officials, including its President and Prime Minister, accusing the government of unlawfully terminating the 15-year power deals.

Invenergy claims a subsidiary of Tauron Polska Energie — the utility majority owned by the Polish state — “destroyed the financial viability” of Invenergy’s investments in four projects, with damages amounting to approximately $700 million (€592.17 million).

Tauron began proceedings to liquidate the subsidiary, thereby annulling any power deals, in July 2014 but this liquidation was never formally completed.

The utility insists the liquidation process was and is “in line with Polish law, foreign investment protection, contract loyalty principles and good trading habits”.

But Invenergy claims the Polish government took deliberate actions to depress renewable energy market prices to unsustainable levels. In July of this year, Invenergy launched legal proceedings against the utility.

The company had entered into fixed-price, long-term energy contracts with Tauron in 2010, accepting what were then below-market prices in return for a stable revenue scheme, it said.

The government later instructed the utility’s subsidiary Polish Energy-First Trading Company to terminate the contracts, according to Invenergy. 

In a statement, the investor added it was forced to sell its production into the market at prices significantly lower than the contracted amounts, resulting in major financial loss.

Invenergy claims this breached investment protection obligations under the US-Poland Bilateral Investment Treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty.

The company today stated its intent to submit the dispute to international arbitration if no settlement is reached within six months.

Invenergy chief legal officer Michael Blazer said: “While the Polish government’s disregard for the rule of law continues to escalate, we are working to secure our rights, and other investors are watching.”

In November 2014, five months after it started the liquidation of its subsidiary, Tauron stated, that for creditors, it was “irrelevant” whether the Polish Energy-First Trading Company was liquidated or not.

The statement continued: “The principles of contractual loyalty and good trade habits and the nature of the bilateral agreement mean that the risk of potential adverse events affecting the stability of cooperation affects both parties to the agreement and not just one. 

“An honest and loyal contractor cannot claim that if a contract brings losses to his partner, that is the only problem for that partner. 

“Then we are not dealing with a contractual partner, but a hard creditor who, irrespective of the consequences for the other party, refuses to adapt the terms of the contract to the changed market situation.”

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly