This week’s Wind Energy Update news brief includes the following companies and organizations: Dong Energy, Scottish & Southern Energy, PGGM, Dutch Ampère Equity Fund & Triodos Investment Management; Maryland Offshore Wind Task Force; Gamesa, Western Wind Energy Corporation & UniSource Electric; RWE Innogy; Vestavind Offshore, Reinertsen, Vattenfall, Technip, ViciVentus, AF Gruppen &Westcon AS; and Windstream Energy.
Walney 1 Offshore Wind Farm online
Dong Energy has announced that the Walney 1 Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Cumbria, has started producing electricity to the UK’s national grid.
Electricity has been generated from the first of the 51 turbines that will comprise Walney 1 Offshore Wind Farm.
The construction of Walney 1 began in March last year. All turbines in the wind farm have now been installed, and will be commissioned over the coming months. The second phase of the project, Walney 2, also with 51 turbines, will begin installation in March 2011 and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2011.
Once fully operational, the Walney 1 and 2 wind farms, will have a capacity of 367.2MW, and will employ around 60 people.
The total cost of the two wind farms is around £1 billion and is owned by DONG Energy (50.1%), Scottish & Southern Energy (25.1%) and a consortium of PGGM and Dutch Ampère Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management (24.8%).
Maryland Governor plans new legislation
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is reportedly planning to introduce new legislation that would mandate power companies in the state to buy electricity from turbines placed in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to a report filed by The Baltimore Sun, the O’Malley administration will propose legislation that would require utilities to sign contracts to buy significant amounts of power from offshore wind projects.
Maryland intends to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2022. Governor O’Malley has made offshore wind a priority in Maryland’s efforts to source its energy from renewable sources, citing the potential for job creation and the abundant wind resources available.
Last November, the US federal government, which controls the Outer Continental Shelf, accepted the planning recommendations of the Maryland Offshore Wind Task Force and issued both a Request for Interest (RFI) and a map of an offshore wind leasing area in federal waters adjacent to Maryland’s Atlantic Coast.
The state authorities said a 1GW offshore wind farm off of the Maryland coast could create as many as 4,000 jobs in manufacturing and construction during the five year development period, with an additional 800 permanent jobs once the turbines are spinning.
Last year, Governor O’Malley and Delaware Governor Jack Markell also wrote to President Obama proposing a federal-state partnership for the development of a power purchase agreement for offshore wind energy.
Gamesa expands US operations
Wind turbine specialist Gamesa has won a contract to supply a total of 10 MW of capacity for a wind farm being developed by Western Wind Energy Corporation for UniSource Electric in Kingman, Arizona.
The farm will consist of five G90-2.0 MW wind turbines on 78-metre towers. Gamesa will oversee the wind turbine installation, which is planned for April 2011.
This is Gamesa’s first contract in Arizona. The company has two manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, with production capacity of over 1,000 MW/year, and employing over 800 people in the State.
The US market accounts for 22% of the company’s total worldwide wind turbine generator sales. Gamesa projects 15% average annual growth in sales in the US between 2009 and 2013.
Western Wind Energy is utilising funds from the Section 1603 Programme to partially fund the construction of this wind farm. This programme, created as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) that was enacted in February 2009, provides an optional cash payment for developers in lieu of a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) and production tax credit (PTC).
RWE Innogy commissions two wind farms in Poland
RWE Innogy has commissioned its new wind farms Piecki and Tychowo in Poland.
The Piecki wind farm in the northeast of Poland was developed and built by Gamesa. The 16 wind turbines (G90-2.0MW) have an installed capacity of 32 MW. RWE Innogy acquired the project together with energy utility HSE, based in Darmstadt, which owns a minority share of 49%.
The Tychowo wind farm located in Western-Pomerania has an installed capacity of about 35MW and consists of 15 Siemens turbines (SWT-2.3-93) each with a capacity of 2.3 MW.
Filip Thon, CEO of RWE Polska, said these two new RWE investments will more than double the group’s wind capacity in Poland.
With Piecki and Tychowo, RWE Innogy now operates three wind farms in Poland. Together with the Suwalki wind farm, the company has an onshore wind portfolio of over 108 MW in the country.
According to the Polish wind energy association, almost 1,100 MW of wind power had been installed in Poland by September 2010. The Polish government intends to grow the installed capacity to 6,100 MW by 2020.
Gamesa sells Polish wind farm
Wind turbine specialist Gamesa has reached an agreement to sell its Piecki wind farm in northeast Poland, which has as an installed capacity of 32 MW, to RWE Innogy GmbH and HSE Regenerativ.
Gamesa’s wind farm development and sales division has built and developed the Piecki project, which is equipped with 16 Gamesa G90-2.0 MW turbines.
Gamesa’s wind farm division has a portfolio of wind farm projects in Poland totalling 706 MW at varying stages of development, of which 78 MW are currently under construction. Gamesa plans to break ground on a further 108 MW of wind farm capacity in Poland in 2011. In other East European countries, including Romania and Bulgaria, the company manages a total portfolio of more than 1,000 MW.
Norwegian offshore wind project gains ground
Vestavind Offshore has selected four players for the final round of the development of Norway’s first and so far only large-scale offshore wind farm project.
The selected companies include:
In all, 30 domestic and international providers signed up to participate in this US$1.2 billion project. The wind farm in the range of 38-80 turbines.
Vestavind Offshore announced in September last year a tender for the development of a new industrial concept for Norway’s first full scale offshore wind farm at Sandøy on the north west coast of Norway. The assignment includes complete design of substructure, inshore assembly of substructure, tower, nacelle and blades, and offshore installation.
Canadian offshore wind to boost employment
An offshore wind power project of Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals, a subsidiary of independent wind development company Windstream Energy, is to create 1900 jobs during its five-year development and construction period and 175 long-term jobs during the subsequent operational period, a large portion of which will be in eastern Ontario.
The Wolfe Island Shoals Offshore Wind Project received a feed-in-tariff contract from the Ontario Power Authority in April for its 300 MW project in Lake Ontario offshore from Kingston. This is the first and only offshore project to receive a contract in Ontario.
The employment projections come from a study conducted by AECOM to explore the employment and economic impacts of the project in Ontario.
The 300 MW site is located west of Wolfe Island, Ontario on approximately 48,000 acres of shallow water shoals.
Offshore wind O&M initiative entails a diverse range of activities, and the industry acknowledges a need to look at everything minutely. It is even suggested that a long term operations and maintenance strategy should start at the time of a project’s pro-forma stage.
Cape Wind officials aren’t saying much in the aftermath of losing two crucial power purchase agreements with utilities early this month. But others have plenty to say and this serious bump in the road is not the end for US offshore wind promise.
Wind projects with a socio-economic slant need not be charity cases. More examples of wind power projects in emerging markets and remote areas are showing the wider economic benefits of this natural resource from Africa to Chile. We learn which companies have caught on to the trend.