New owners for Vergnet

Vergnet was placed in receivership in August, citing severe cash flow problems, partly due to a delayed solar project in Nigeria.

Once the final details are in place, the consortium will take over the 42% stake in Vergnet held by Banque Populaire d’Investissement (BPi), giving it effective control of the company.

The consortium — comprising Arum International, GEM Capital NY, Krief Group, Luxembourg Utilities and Sun PR — will also take over Vergnet’s liabilities, which will be paid off over ten years or converted into shares.

As soon as the share transfer is completed, Patrick Werner, head of Arum International, will step in as CEO, nominate a new board and present the consortium’s business plan to the court in late January.

Although the details are not yet clear, the consortium has indicated it “believes in Vergnet’s business model and will give the company the means to achieve its objectives and to realise its commercial pipeline,” said Marc Rivard, Vergnet’s sales director. It will also retain the 140 employees.

In the meantime, as soon as a new board is in place, Vergnet will be able to resume normal activities and start signing contracts.

Among these are likely to be a 12MW wind power project in Guadeloupe, to be equipped with eight Sinovel 1.5MW turbines adapted for cyclonic conditions, under a partnership agreement signed in 2015.

Also in line is a project to design and install a cyclone-proof hybrid wind and solar system in Antigua, featuring Vergnet’s 275kW turbines.

And in Ethiopia, Vergnet plans to build a 21MW extension to the Ashegoda plant, probably also with Sinovel turbines.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

German LiDARs Get a Lift to China

Cargolux, in cooperation with Globaltrans Internationale Logistik, has flown two shipments of measuring buoys from Luxembourg to China for the Zhangpu and Changle offshore wind projects.

The two buoys, designed by the German Fraunhofer IWES, will measure the wind speed in the designated locations up to a height of 200 meters from their position on the sea surface to allow precise calculation of the wind farms’ electricity yield, Cargolux said.

With 8.1 meters in length, a diameter of 2.55 meters and weight of around 5,800kg each, the buoys were transported by Globaltrans with special trailers from Bremerhaven in Germany to Luxembourg Airport and flown on board two Cargolux 747 freighters to Xiamen, China.

“To ensure safest transportation, the weight and complex dimensions of the buoys, with its very sensible electronic equipment, required the design and manufacture of special transport frames. In addition we were challenged by a very time sensitive shipment, not allowing us any complications or delays. Therefore, we have decided to use Cargolux’s 747 Freighters to Xiamen, offering us shoring expertise, long-standing experience and tailor-made solutions for heavy or outsized shipments,” said Kay Uwe Gretsch, CEO at Globaltrans Germany.

Titan Technologies Corporation ordered the two buoys in July, and, according to Cargolux, this is the first time that China is using the so-called Floating LiDAR systems for an offshore wind-measuring campaign.

The Zhangpu and Changle offshore wind farms, located off the coast of China’s Fujian province, have a combined capacity of 4GW, Fraunhofer IWES said.

The two wind farms are being developed by the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG).

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Using Acoustic Deterrent Devices Protects Minke Whales, Study Says

Using Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) during offshore wind farm construction is as an effective method for protection of minke whales, according to a study conducted through a joint industry project.

Image source: uk.whales.org

Previous studies have demonstrated that ADDs effectively deter seals and harbour porpoise, however, until now there has been little research into the use of ADDs as a deterrent for minke whales.

The Offshore Renewables Joint industry Programme (ORJIP), with funding from innogy, Ørsted, and Statoil and managed by the Carbon Trust, confirmed that minke whales showed a clear response to the tested ADD, demonstrating the effectiveness of the technology. During the field research whales were observed to display a clear and sustained movement away from the ADD deployment site, adopting faster swim speeds with more directed movement.

The detection of marine mammals is currently carried out by marine mammal observers posted offshore, or passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). If a marine mammal is detected close to an offshore wind construction site, piling for foundation installation will not commence until it is deemed that there are no longer marine mammals within the predefined zone.

The ability to use active acoustic systems to create a temporary safety exclusion zone around the turbine is a useful addition to the suite of mitigation options for wind farms developers. In particular, it increases confidence that marine mammals are adequately protected when operating in harsh conditions or poor visibility, and also avoids the need to unnecessarily delay construction operations, the Carbon Trust said.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

UK to define 'remote island wind' for next auction

The move, subject to state-aid approval, will see onshore wind sites located on islands, such as Orkney and Shetland, compete with “less-established technologies”, such as offshore wind sites, in any forthcoming CfD round, slated to be in spring 2019.

Under the consultation, the government is also looking to determine an administrative strike price — or maximum bid price — for the island projects.

The UK government said due to the difficult logistics and transmission requirements of these projects, the costs are higher, which differentiates them from mainland onshore sites.

Currently the government proposal defines remote island wind projects as being “located in the territorial sea of the United Kingdom, other than the part adjacent to Northern Ireland” and “where all parts of its coastline are situated at least 10km from mainland Great Britain”.

To qualify as a remote island CfD candidate, the projects must include a “connection between the unit’s generation circuit and the Main Interconnected Transmission System (MITS) [that] requires at least 50km of cabling, of which 20km must be subsea cabling”.

Projects in these areas could help stimulate the local economy, by boosting employment and supply chain opportunities, the government said.

UK minister for Scotland, Lord Duncan, said: “Wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland have the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity and cut emissions, supporting economic growth and delivering lasting benefits for communities.

“Enabling these projects to compete in future auctions will reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in renewable generation, as well as providing Scottish jobs in any projects supported.”

The government quoted a 2013 report, which stated Scottish Islands had the potential wind capacity to provide up to 3% of the UK’s total electricity demand, due to the locations’ higher wind resources.

According to the government’s consultation, as well as the Scottish isles, other remote islands that could be included are the Isles of Scilly, off southwest England, and Holy Island, off northwest Wales. The consultation runs until 9 March 2018.

Up to £557m (€663m) has been put aside for further CfD auctions in the UK. The latest round, awarded in September 2017, supported three offshore wind projects, at an average price of £66/MWh (€75/MWh).

Onshore wind projects were excluded from the second auction, after the UK’s ruling Conservative Party barred them from competing.

However, in recent months, there have been moves to show the government is softening its stance on onshore wind.

Although development of onshore sites in England remains unlikely, projects in Scotland and Wales could be given access to the next round.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Vattenfall Reveals Dutch Offshore Wind Power Play

Vattenfall is participating in the tender for the Hollandse Kust (zuid) offshore wind zone, the Netherland’s first non-subsidized tender.

Vattenfall has decided to join the tender as part of its commitment to the green transition of Northern Europe, and sees it as an important step to become fossil free within one generation, the Swedish company said.

“As an energy company with a strong presence in the Dutch market and with a firm view on the developments in the Dutch power market, we are very committed to take a leading role in the green transformation of the Dutch economy. Hollandse Kust Zuid would be an important milestone,” said Magnus Hall, CEO at Vattenfall.

The North Sea, and in particular the Hollandse Kust (zuid), has good wind conditions and there are significant strategies to Vattenfall’s nearby Egmond aan Zee offshore wind farm, the company said, emphasizing that the Dutch tender fits well with the company’s North Sea wind farm pipeline and can thus be easily incorporated in the current procurement and execution strategy.

Vattenfall also underlined its ability to reduce costs in offshore wind projects, highlighting that the company won the Danish offshore wind projects Vesterhav Syd & Nord and Kriegers Flak at record low bids.

“We believe that our proposal represents a very solid all-round proposition to meet the Dutch government’s needs. The country’s strong commitment to renewable energy creates a stable regulatory framework. Along with support in terms of providing the substation and grid connection these are very important parts of Vattenfall’s decision to bid,” said Gunnar Groebler, Head of Vattenfalls Business Area Wind.

“Through close cooperation with our suppliers Vattenfall has made tremendous progress in bringing down costs of offshore wind over the last few years. We will continue to bring costs even further down, which gives us the confidence that we can build and run this windfarm profitably even without subsidies.”

The Netherlands is opening the first phase of the tender for sites I and II in the Hollandse Kust (zuid) offshore wind zone on 15 December.

The tender will be based on the procedure without subsidies, but in case that the procedure fails to yield an acceptable bid, a tender including subsidies will be initiated.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Breaking: France Okays Switch to 8MW Siemens Gamesa Turbine on Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind Farm

Images: Adwen Offshore/ Siemens Gamesa (archive)

French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Nicolas Hulot has approved the switch from the Adwen 8MW to the Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbine to be used on the 496MW Bay of Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm, Ailes Marines, the developer of the project, said.

Ailes Marine will now incorporate the decision into the project’s documents, the developer said.

Earlier this year, Siemens Gamesa, now the owner of Adwen, announced that it will discontinue the development of Adwen’s AD8 model as it wants to focus its offer on only one 8MW platform – the SG 8.0-167 DD.

Siemens Gamesa also said that it plans to replace the AD8 turbine at three French projects for which the model was selected with the Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine.

The ministry had already approved the switch to the Siemens Gamesa turbines on the other two projects – the Eoliennes en Mer Iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier and the Eoliennes en Mer Dieppe Le Tréport.

The Bay of Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm will comprise 62 wind turbines mounted on jacket foundations, one offshore substation, as well the associated cables. Offshore construction is scheduled to start in 2018 and the wind farm is expected to go online in 2020.

Ailes Marines is a joint venture between Iberdrola, RES and Caisse des Dépôts.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Wpd Receives Initial Approval for Offshore Wind Farm in Taiwan

Wpd’s offshore wind farm proposed to be built off the coast of Taiwan’s Yunlin county received an initial approval from Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in November, according to Taipei Times.

Illustration; Image source: wpd

The offshore wind farm is planned to have a capacity of 750MW, comprising wind turbines with an output of 6-10MW.

The Germany-based offshore wind developer has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CR Classification Society, two Taiwan’s research and development bodies, and representatives from engineering think tanks to assist Taiwan in reaching its aim of increasing domestic financial operators’ willingness to invest in offshore wind farms.

As for the information on wpd’s Taiwanese project moving through the governmental system, Taipei Times reported on this within news about a public hearing held on 12 December at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. There, several experts voiced their opinion about the government’s project selection process and called on Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy to set up clear and legitimate guidelines for the two-stage process, which comes after a project had received the EPA approval.

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Posted on December 15, 2017 with tags , .

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Vestas and Northvolt partner on wind-storage

The seven-year project will see Vestas and the Swedish technology firm collaborate on the research and product development of a storage solution, which could either be deployed into wind turbines or integrated into a “full power plant system design”.

Using the programme, Vestas said it also wants to “develop and optimise control systems that can integrate battery storage systems with other renewable energy technologies”.

“This important collaboration with Northvolt will enable Vestas to define, challenge and improve battery storage offerings for customers that need hybrid and storage solutions,” said Vestas’ chief technology officer Anders Vedel.

“There is a strong shared purpose and strategic fit with Northvolt that will support our goal to expand our knowledge in an area that we know will only grow in importance to the renewables and overall electricity market,” Vedel added.

Northvolt signed an agreement with Swiss outfit ABB to share products and services involved in the development of battery solutions.

It is also building a lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden, with full production expected to begin in 2020.

“Batteries and solutions for energy storage are key in this transition, and Vestas will be an important strategic partner for Northvolt as we establish our product offering to the renewable energy sector,” said Peter Carlsson, co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt.

In September, Vestas confirmed it was collaborating with battery firm Tesla, and other specialised companies, on developing storage solutions.

Since 2012, Vestas has developed a number of pilot hybrid or storage projects. It has previously said it is planning to bring a product to market by 2019.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Oceaneering to Survey US Offshore Wind Ground

Oceaneering International has won a contract by US Wind to conduct high-resolution marine geophysical surveys at the Maryland offshore wind project starting in the second half of 2018.

The Maryland offshore wind farm is located on the Maryland Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and comprises 16 OCS Lease Blocks spanning an area of around 80,000 acres in 20-30 meters of water depths

The wind farm is expected to produce up to 750MW of power if built to full capacity.

Roderick A. Larson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, said: “We are delighted to play an active part in US Wind’s large-scale offshore wind power project. We look forward to placing our teams to work locally in Maryland, and applying our extensive offshore marine environment experience and very best technology, which will benefit the environment as well as the local economy and community.”

In May, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to US Wind, corresponding with the company’s request to support a 248MW project planned 12 to 17 miles off the coast of Ocean City. Ultimately, US Wind plans to construct up to 187 turbines at the site.

US Wind stated in its application to PSC that it intends to use Siemens 4MW turbines, but during the evidentiary hearings the company noted that it is also considering 6MW turbines, which will be mounted on jacket foundations.

The Maryland offshore wind farm is expected to be operational in January 2020.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News