SSE to Spend GBP 100 Million Less than Expected in 2017/2018

Greater Gabbard OWF. Source: SSE/ archive (cropped)

SSE informed that it expects its 2017/2018 capital and investment expenditure to be around GBP 1.6 billion, instead of previously anticipated GBP 1.7 billion. From 1 April to 31 December 2017, SSE’s capital spend totalled GBP 1.1 billion and has included, among other things, around GBP 355 million investment in on- and offshore wind. 

Nevertheless, over the four-year period to March 2020, SSE still expects its investment and capital expenditure to be around GBP 6 billion, with some GBP 5 billion of this already committed to economically-regulated electricity networks and government-mandated renewable energy projects.

In its report on the nine months to 31 December 20147, SSE reported that the output of renewable energy during this period was around 25% higher than in the same period in 2016, saying this is broadly in line with the company’s expectations at the start of this financial year. SSE’s recorded wind generation output of 4TWh during this time, compared to 3TWh marked for the same period of the previous year. The company said the increase in output resulted from wetter and windier weather conditions in 2017, meaning output was up around 14% on a like-for-like basis, with the balance from more onshore wind farm capacity in operation.

In offshore wind, SSE has a 50% stake in Greater Gabbard and a 25.1% stake Walney offshore wind farm, both operational. The company also holds 40% of the Beatrice offshore wind farm, currently under construction, and 50% of the Seagreen offshore wind project which had its consent reinstated in November 2017. SSE is also in a joint venture with Statoil on the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B and Dogger Bank Teesside A projects.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Photo of the Day: Acta Auriga Taking Final Shape

Ulstein has shared a photo of Acta Marine’s service operation vessel (SOV) Acta Auriga under construction at Ulstein Verft.

Source: Acta Marine/ Benny Banen

Ulstein is currently conducting outfitting and commissioning of the Acta Auriga in Ulsteinvik, Norway.

Acta Auriga recently won a contract to service Offshore Breeze Energy’s Bard Offshore 1 wind farm in the German North Sea. The two-year charter will see the vessel perform logistical support for maintenance activities at the 400MW wind farm, operating out of Emden.

The 93.4 meter long Acta Auriga is an Ulstein-designed X-bow & X-stern DP2 OSV equipped with SMST motion compensated gangway with integrated elevator and crane functionality. It is able to perform 3D compensated lifts with its 6t SMST 3D crane and is equipped with a fuel-efficient drive system.

The vessel comprises covered warehousing facilities, integrated people and cargo logistics and stepless approach to the offshore installations. A total of 120 people can stay onboard in its 80 cabins.

Ulstein is expected to deliver the vessel at the end of Q1 2018, after which it will undergo trials and commence its works at the offshore site.

Upon delivery, Acta Auriga will join Acta Orion, her semi-sister vessel, and as such form the second vessel in the Acta fleet dedicated for W2W, offshore logistics and accommodation services for clients in the offshore renewable industry.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Kent Champions UK Offshore Wind

The global expenditure on offshore wind in the UK is expected to reach GBP 108 billion between 2018 and 2022, and Kent-based companies are ideally placed to capture a significant share in the opportunities, according to Kent County Council.

The UK has the most economically attractive offshore wind resources in Europe and could expand its offshore wind capacity to almost five times its current level by 2030, a recent report by Aurora Energy Research suggests.

There are eight UK wind farms in operation or in development relatively close to the Kent coast, including the world’s largest operating wind farm, the 630MW London Array in the Thames Estuary.

However, Kent’s advantages go well beyond its geographical proximity to offshore wind developments, the Council said, adding that the city is home to a number of businesses that can provide the products, services and skills essential for wind farm development and operation.

“Offshore wind represents a huge potential market for Kent business,” said Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic Development of Kent County Council.

“As well as a large and growing domestic market, the global growth of offshore wind opens up great export opportunities for those able to demonstrate the ability to service the offshore wind market.”

The nature of the offshore wind supply chain means that there are vast opportunities for smaller companies, but many struggle with understanding the market and engaging with potential clients, the Council said, emphasizing that it thus developed a range of tools to help understand the concept.

As part of the Inn2POWER consortium, Kent County Council established the Kent Wind Energy portal, an online directory and information resource that supports local supply chain development and puts offshore wind owners in touch with local businesses.

The directory allows buyers to search for services across the offshore wind supply chain, including project development, equipment design and manufacture, construction and operation, as well as more general support such as accommodation, recruitment and office supplies.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Belgium, UK Businesses Eye Belgian OWFs Together

More than 40 UK offshore wind supply chain companies and the key Belgian offshore wind players met on 25 January in Brussels to discuss opportunities for collaborating in the framework of three future Belgian projects: Mermaid, Seastar and Northwester 2.

The businesses also looked at delivering innovative solutions for the operations and maintenance activities of the existing Belgian projects.

Image source: UK DIT

The supply chain event was organised by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT). British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose, opened the event by emphasising the benefits of a closer collaboration between the industry in both countries in order to help reach the climate targets.

In October 2017, Belgian government reached an agreement with the developers of the three aforementioned offshore wind projects on a price of EUR 79/MWh as part of the government’s support scheme. The 224MW Northwester 2, 246MW Seastar and 246MW Mermaid will be built between 2018 and 2020 and for a much lower level of support than previous wind farms.

The operational wind farms off Belgium include C-Power (Thornton Bank), Belwind, Northwind and Nobelwind, and the country is bound to get two more in the near future with the Rentel project currently under construction and the Norther offshore wind farm in the pre-construction stage.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

EOLOS Nets French Floating Wind Contract with Quadran

Quadran Energies Marines, which is leading the consortium behind the EolMed floating wind project in France, has contracted EOLOS for a one-year floating LiDAR measurement campaign for what is deemed to be the first offshore wind farm in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Image source: EOLOS

EOLOS, selected for the project at a competitive tender, will provide its FLS200 floating system which incorporates the ZephIR 300M wind LiDAR and is expected to begin the measuring campaign in March 2018.

During the 12-month campaign, EOLOS will be providing validated wind, wave and meteorological data gathered at the EolMed site. Data collected from the campaign will contribute to the optimisation of the turbines’ locations within the concession area, as well as to the design of the floating foundation. It will also reduce uncertainty of wind yield and raise the bankability of the development as it progresses to the final investment decision (FID), slated to be made in 2019.

Quadran Energies Marines Managing Director, Olivier Guiraud, said: “Key to our project’s credibility and performance is to work with vendors that understand profoundly the nature of the work, matching our own team’s spirit and ethos, where we can rely on having achieved bankable data at the end of the campaign. EOLOS stood out among the providers for their flexibility, dedicated and focused team and their robust track record in similar geographies.”

“The appeal of EolMed demonstration wind farm, pioneering not only offshore wind in the Mediterranean but also proving floating foundations was evident to the EOLOS team from the outset,” EOLOS Sales Director Julian Harland said. “To be part of that story is a signal that the next chapter of mainstream offshore wind generation lies in succeeding in floating foundation technology, an enabler that the European wind industry is leading and can export to new markets, leapfrogging conventional technology. We are evidently proud to be recognised as a robust, reliable vendor to meet the unique demands of a first-to-market project.”

In 2016, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) approved the bid by the EolMed consortium to build the pilot floating wind farm. The Quadran-led consortium includes Ideol and its Damping Pool concrete floater, the civil engineering leader Bouygues Travaux Publics and the wind turbine manufacturer Senvion. Ideol is a turnkey supplier of the foundation work package in partnership with Bouygues Travaux Publics, and Senvion has been appointed to deliver up to four of its 6.2M152 turbines.

The wind farm, located in the Gruissan area, is expected to be commissioned in 2020.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Global Wind Service and GE Expand Merkur Collaboration

GE Renewable Energy has selected Global Wind Service (GWS) as a primary partner for the commissioning and completion scope for the 396MW Merkur offshore wind farm in the German North Sea.

The scope of work will include onshore commissioning preparation activities and offshore electrical and mechanical activities, such as tensioning, completion, punch-lists, MV activities including switchgear testing, MV cable preparation, as well as HV work.

In December last year, GE contracted GWS for installing 66 Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines at the wind farm site some 35km north of the island of Borkum. The works will begin in the middle of February, with activities expected to last six months.

“We are very pleased that GE Renewable Energy has chosen GWS as their partner on installation, mechanical and electrical completion and commissioning for this project. This gives us a unique possibility to bring synergies to the project in both planning and execution of the work scope,” said Michael Høj Olsen, CCO at GWS.

The Merkur offshore wind farm is expected to be completed this year, when it will become one of the country’s largest offshore wind farms.

The owner and developer of the wind farm is Merkur Offshore GmbH, a joint venture between its shareholders Partners Group, InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions and Coriolis.

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Carbon Trust Picks Innovative Foundation Inspection Methods

The Carbon Trust has announced the winners of the latest innovation competition in its Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program which sought new or adaptable techniques for inspection of offshore wind foundations.

Applications were open for four specific challenges, including weld inspection for monopile foundations, weld inspection for jacket foundations, grout inspection for monopile foundations and grout inspection for jacket foundations.

Oceaneering International Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceaneering International, won in the category of weld inspection for monopile foundations with the development of an inspection tool adapted from previous use in oil and gas.

The weld inspection for jacket foundations included two winners, Oceaneering utilizing its experience in oil and gas to provide an innovative technique for inspection of nodes, and German Kraken Robotics having developed a high-resolution laser imaging sensor for inspection of subsea assets.

In collaboration with Ashtead Technology and Hydrason, Next Geoslutions UKCS won in the grout inspection for jackets with a technique based on the use of innovative sonar to detect gaps, cracks and disbanding of grout.

The grout inspection for monopiles included two winners, Uniper Technologies with its ultrasonic interferometric technique, jointly developed with the British Geological Survey, and Next Geosolutions UKCS with the same technology as for the jacket inspection.

The winners will initially receive a range of tailored support from the Carbon Trust, the OWA partners and technical contractors INNOSEA and Everoze, which will include marketing advice through to engineering and industry-specific support. Following this phase, those techniques which show significant potential will then be tested at operational offshore wind farms to prove their ability in real life conditions.

“This competition has once again shown the impressive level of innovation and ingenuity that exists within the industry. The range of winners also highlights the transferability of many techniques from other industries into offshore wind, and the potential for other players in these markets to offer services and technologies that could improve operations from both a cost and health and safety perspective,” Michael Stephenson, Project Manager of the Foundations Working Area in OWA.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Offshore Wind Offers Silver Lining During Bomb Cyclones

Vineyard Wind has released a study showing that its proposed 800MW wind farm offshore Massachusetts, US, would have reduced emissions and saved costs in comparison to other energy sources during the Grayson cyclone had it been installed.

The study, prepared by Daymark Energy Advisors, demonstrated that the wind farm would have provided 61 million kilowatt-hours of emission-free generation over the bomb cyclone period from 4 to 7 January, based on wind conditions recorded.

The project would have produced enough lower-cost electricity to reduce regional wholesale electric prices by nearly USD 20 per MWh, saving New England customers over USD 31 million and Massachusetts customers almost USD 15 million, according to the study.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from New England power generators would have also been reduced by 67,485 metric tons, and the farm would have contributed 32,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas reduction benefits that are legally-mandated by the Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).

Continuous cold weather conditions before and during the cyclone resulted in an increase in wholesale gas prices ten times higher than the annual average price during 2017. High prices for natural gas impact the wholesale electricity market because that fuel is used to generate more than half of New England’s electricity during normal weather, Vineyard Wind said.

According to the company, regional pipeline constraints cause gas prices for power generation to soar during periods of extreme cold weather because natural gas is prioritized for home heating. In turn, power stations are forced to burn emission-intensive oil to fuel their turbines, which release tons of excess greenhouse gases and pollutants.

The Vineyard Wind project would have run at full capacity for nearly all four days, relieving the need to burn either natural gas or heating oil, reducing emissions and savings costs even during the coldest weather, the developer said.

“The report clearly details the importance of developing offshore wind at the earliest possible date in Massachusetts,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer of Vineyard Wind.

“The sooner we start building the Commonwealth’s first offshore wind project, the sooner local residents and businesses will benefit from the abundant environmental and economic advantages that are associated with large-scale renewable and sustainable offshore wind energy.”

Vineyard Wind submitted a proposal to deliver power generated by its 800MW offshore wind farm some 14 miles from Martha’s Vineyard, shortly after they applied for federal and state construction permits with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ Energy Facilities Siting Board for the construction of the project.

By filing for construction permits in 2017, Vineyard Wind is on track to complete the permitting process in time to begin in-state construction in 2019, and be fully operational by 2021.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Taiwan to Sign 5.5GW of Contracts with Offshore Wind Developers by July

Illustration; Turbine installation at Formosa 1 Phase 1. Image source: Maersk Broker

Nine developers looking to build offshore wind farms in Taiwan have qualified for offshore environmental permits. These developers, offering 10.5GW of offshore wind capacity in total, will now compete for 5.5GW of offshore wind contracts, 3.5GW to be selected for the feed-in-tariff (FIT) and the rest to be awarded at an auction in May.

This is according to K2 Management, whose Business Development Director for Taiwan, Scott Hsu, said that this means that all the developers selected through both schemes will sign their contracts by the end of June 2018.

“This is an exciting development for the offshore market in Taiwan – the original offshore wind target was 3.5 GW before the auction scheme was introduced so to see a 5.5 GW commitment from the government, the industry and stakeholders with a commercial operation date (COD) of 2025, is fantastic,” Hsu said.

Of the nine developers that now hold environmental permits, four are local and the rest are European developers, with some of the latter ones applying for multiple projects.

World’s biggest offshore wind developer, Ørsted, has four projects located 35 to 60 kilometres off the Changhua coast with the total capacity of approx. 2.4GW.

“The government will now look to developers to support and drive the development of the local supply chain and local financing opportunities to successfully complete the projects,” Scott Hsu said.

Phase 3 of offshore development is expected to be released by the government by the end of 2019 and targets in that phase are expected to be an additional 5GW to 6GW of offshore power for commercial operation between 2026 and 2035.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

LOC to Advise Woen Jinn on Cable Lay Barge Conversion

The WJ#5 barge; Image source: LOC Renewables

LOC Renewables’ company Longitude Engineering has won a contract in Taiwan with the subsea cable installer Woen Jinn Harbor Engineering, under which it will assess the WJ#5 cable lay barge and advise on the specifications and conversion work required to fit the barge for offshore wind operations.

Furthermore, Longitude will provide ongoing support during the barge’s operation life and is also working with Woen Jinn to determine its role as owners’ engineer during the necessary design engineering to convert the cable lay barge to a fit-for-purpose vessel.

Nicolas Cazeres, Managing Director at Longitude’s Singapore office, said: “Supported by staff in the UK, our Chinese-speaking team in Singapore will ensure that the knowledge and experience we have built up in European markets is successfully leveraged and deployed in Taiwan and the surrounding region.”

“As the leading cable installation company in Taiwan, we played a key role in the completion of the country’s first offshore wind turbine in 2016,” said Cheng Yu (Bruce) Lee, Director at Woen Jinn Harbor Engineering. “As we plan for the future of offshore wind power in Taiwan, our co-operation with Longitude Engineering in barge design and related verification activities will allow us to continue to deliver a first-class local cable installation service in Taiwan.”

In June 2017, international marine and engineering consultancy LOC Group, comprising LOC and Longitude, created LOC Renewables as a focused team of consultants to bring the group’s capabilities to the offshore renewable energy sector.

In September last year, LOC Renewables also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Taiwan with the CR Classification Society, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, Taiwan Electric Research & Testing Center, and Electronics Testing Center to look to enhance the quality, safety and reliability of offshore wind farm construction in the South China Sea region.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News