Offshore Wind Turbines

The higher winds out at sea potentially make offshore wind energy capture a huge contributor to our energy needs. Offshore wind turbine technology has developed at a fast pace over the last few years with some of the world’s biggest utility companies heavily involved in offshore wind energy projects. Some significant barriers however are present with the technology – the most problematic being the harsh environment out at sea. Construction and maintenance of offshore wind turbines is more expensive than for their onshore cousins with in many cases specialist vessels required.

This category contains information and news on offshore wind turbine technology from new floating turbine foundations to who is leading the world in terms of development.

Trump Trumped by Offshore Wind Farm

April 1, 2013

Donald Trump has expressed his anger at the offshore wind farm granted planning consent off Aberdeen Bay in Scotland. The European Offshore wind Deployment Centre has been given the go ahead this week despite high profile attempts by Donald Trump to thwart the plans. The news comes to the delight of green groups like Greenpeace […]

Read: Trump Trumped by Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore Wind Farm Consortium Countersue Contractor

April 18, 2012

offshore wind turbine

A legal battle is about to be fuelled as an offshore wind farm consortium countersues its project contractor.

Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited is a 50:50 joint venture between RWE Innogy and SSE Renewables created to build a 504MW offshore wind farm off the East Anglia coast. The wind farm comprises 140, 3.6 Megawatt (MW) wind turbines 25km offshore and Fluor is the project contractor.

The 140 wind turbine foundation monopiles for Greater Gabbard wind farm are being driven into the seabed on a grid.

Read: Offshore Wind Farm Consortium Countersue Contractor

Edward Davey opens world’s biggest offshore windfarm

February 16, 2012

offshore wind turbines

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has demonstrated the coalition’s support for renewable energy in opening the world’s biggest offshore windfarm located near Walney in Cumbria. The site comprises 102 turbines, enough to power 320,000 homes, and sits alongside 60 other turbines generating off the Cumbrian coast, with more planned. Opening the new windfarm, Edward Davey, said: “Britain has a lot to be proud of in our growing offshore wind sector. Our island’s tremendous natural resource, our research base and a proud history of engineering make this the number one destination for investment in offshore wind.”

Read: Edward Davey opens world’s biggest offshore windfarm

Trump blames offshore wind farm for shelving of luxury golf resort

January 20, 2012

Offshore Wind Turbine

Donald Trump is considering shelving his plans for his luxury golf resort near Aberdeen after claiming his ambitious project is being threatened by an offshore windfarm, reports the Guardian.

Trump, whose plans for this windswept, remote part of the Aberdeenshire coast include a high-rise tower and several 4 story units, has long complained that the offshore windfarm will be an eyesore.

Read: Trump blames offshore wind farm for shelving of luxury golf resort

Wind energy set to bring jobs to the North East

November 5, 2011

Off shore wind turbine

The value of wind power to the North East is set to be more than simply providing electricity. Three active projects on Teeside, Dogger Bank (North Yorkshire) and Hull are all promising ongoing jobs and regeneration in previously hard hit areas.

Read: Wind energy set to bring jobs to the North East

Donald Trump Opposes Scottish Wind Farm Proposal

August 12, 2011

offshore wind turbine

In an ironic twist Donald Trump is fighting a wind farm proposal in view of his controversial luxury golf course.

Trump is concerned about the effects of the 11 offshore wind turbines on his nearly completed Aberdeen coast golf course, ‘residential village’ and hotel development.

According to Bloomberg Trump wrote in an email “I am very disappointed that Scotland may allow the development of a wind power plant directly off Aberdeen’s beautiful coastline“.

Read: Donald Trump Opposes Scottish Wind Farm Proposal

Germany’s Largest Offshore Wind Project Secures Finance

August 8, 2011

wind turbine

Germany’s largest offshore wind farm ‘Meerwind’ reached financial close at the end of last week according to its owners WindMW Gmbh.

Meerwind wind farm will see a total investment of 1.2 billion Euros when it is built in 2013. It has been a long journey for the project which was proposed back in 2000 and approved in 2007.

The project financing was managed by Blackstone who set up the portfolio company WindMW to fund the wind farm. The wind farm has attracted green investment from Santander and Siemens Bank, Lloyds Banking Group…

Read: Germany’s Largest Offshore Wind Project Secures Finance

European Offshore Wind Supergrid Deal Signed

December 3, 2010

offshore wind farm

A deal was struck today by European ministers keen to implement a European wide ‘supergrid‘ for new offshore wind farms.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by ten ministers from countries bordering the north sea. The memorandum is an agreement to deliver an offshore electricity grid facilitating the interconnection of offshore energy installations such as wind farms with European countries separated by the north sea and Norway.

Read: European Offshore Wind Supergrid Deal Signed

US Gears Up for Offshore Wind Energy

November 27, 2010

offshore wind energy

This week saw US politicians taking action to encourage offshore wind energy along the US Atlantic Coast.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a new initiative dubbed ‘Smart from the Start’ with the purpose of selecting the best sites for offshore wind farms. The initiative is based on regulatory change designed to speed up the permitting and leasing of offshore wind sites leading to speedier wind farm delivery.

Read: US Gears Up for Offshore Wind Energy

UK Offshore Wind Ambition Steps Forward

November 19, 2010

offshore wind farm

The UK electricity regulator has this week launched a tender for offshore wind farm grid connections. The move takes the UK’s offshore wind energy ambitions a step further towards delivery.

Transmission links to 2.8 Gigawatts of offshore wind farms are to be put out to competitive tender with the winning bidders to be announced in summer next year.

The Ofgem tender is the second tender round for offshore wind farm high voltage transmission links worth an estimated £1.9 billion (over US$ 3 billion). The tender is aimed at cost effectively incentivising the building of the necessary grid infrastructure to connect 6 UK offshore wind farms to the onshore grid network.

Read: UK Offshore Wind Ambition Steps Forward

Britain Hits 5 Gigawatts of Wind Power

September 24, 2010

offshore wind farm

British Renewable Energy trade association Renewable UK announced this week that the UK has reached the milestone of 5 Gigawatts of installed wind power.

The announcement comes as another offshore wind farm is commissioned in UK waters off the coast of Kent.

Thanet wind farm comprises 100 Vestas wind turbines each rated at 3 Megawatts. Thanet owner and operator Vattenfall say it is the largest operational wind farm in the world.

Read: Britain Hits 5 Gigawatts of Wind Power

Wind Turbine Installation Kicked off at Sheringham Shoal

August 1, 2010

Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm

A specialised vessel is now installing wind turbine monopiles and transition pieces at Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the UK north Norfolk coast.

The 317 megawatt (MW) wind farm is located between 17 and 22 km north of the town of Sheringham. Construction work began in March of this year and the wind farm is expected to be generating green electricity by the end of 2011.

Read: Wind Turbine Installation Kicked off at Sheringham Shoal

Europe Picks up Pace on Offshore Wind

July 20, 2010

offshore wind turbines

118 new offshore wind turbines were connected to the electricity grid network in the first half of 2010 according to The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) today.

The new offshore wind farms across Europe total 333 Megawatts (MW) indicating that 2010 is set to be a more progressive year than 2009 which delivered 577 MW at the end of the full year. 151 additional wind turbines have been built but not connected to the grid taking the total installed to 440 MW.

According to EWEA figures there are now 43 operational offshore wind farms in Europe with a total capacity of 2,396 MW.

Read: Europe Picks up Pace on Offshore Wind

German Companies Join Forces to Build UK Offshore Wind Farm

June 20, 2010

offshore wind energy

German utility company Stadtwerke München (SWM) has bought a 30% stake in RWE Innogy’s Liverpool Bay wind farm Gwynt Y Mor.

According to industry sources, the company has been looking for a finance partner to share the £2bn offshore wind investment required for well over a year. Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens has also bought a 10% stake in the project.

Read: German Companies Join Forces to Build UK Offshore Wind Farm

Brown Praises Siemens Offshore Wind Energy Work

April 18, 2010

Siemens

The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the Siemens facility in Manchester this week and took the opportunity to speak of the bright future for the company in the offshore wind sector.

The tour involved visiting the facility that has carried out work on offshore wind energy. There were alse demonstrations of technologies used in the oil and gas sector, power stations and other industries.

Brown praised the work of Siemens in the UK and pointed to its crucial role in the future of UK wind energy and renewables.

Read: Brown Praises Siemens Offshore Wind Energy Work

Ministry of Defence Withdraws Objection to UK Offshore Wind Farms

April 11, 2010

radar

Ministry of Defence (MOD) objections to over 3 GW of UK offshore wind farms have been resolved further to years of discussion and new funding.

The 5 offshore wind farms off the east coast of England in the Greater Wash were considered to pose a conflict with air defence due to the potential for wind turbines to show up on the MOD’s radar screens. However cash has been stumped up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the wind industry to buy a new TPS77 radar which has the ability to screen out the wind turbines.

Read: Ministry of Defence Withdraws Objection to UK Offshore Wind Farms

€2.4m needed for Offshore Wind Farm Ship Investments

March 1, 2010

offshore wind farm

Measures to make investment in offshore wind vessels more attractive are being urged by European Shipyard and Wind Energy Associations.

The Community of European Shipyards Association (CESA) and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) want the European Commission and European Investment Bank to help stimulate the funding of new ships to build offshore wind farms.

Read: €2.4m needed for Offshore Wind Farm Ship Investments

Centrica CEO Doubts Offshore Wind Farm Delivery

February 26, 2010

offshore wind farm

The CEO of British Gas owned company Centrica has warned that the delivery of a 3rd round of UK offshore wind farms is “questionable”.

Centrica CEO Sam Laidlaw told Timesonline today that the company has doubts as to whether the proposed 32 Gigawatts of offshore wind farms around UK shores would ever go ahead. Despite benefiting from cross party support, the Round 3 offshore wind energy programme is set to be challenged by spiralling costs.

Laidlaw said,

Read: Centrica CEO Doubts Offshore Wind Farm Delivery

New Wind Turbine Blade Factory for North East England

February 19, 2010

Turbine Blade

A new wind turbine blade testing factory is set to be constructed near Newcastle according to an announcement by Clipper Windpower this week. The news has been warmly welcolmed after the recent Vestas blade factory closure on the Isle of Wight.

The 4000 m2 factory will be part funded by an offshore wind technology grant of over £4m (over US $6m) from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It is expected to be constructed by September of this year.

The North East has suffered from the recession acutely but the new wind turbine facility is expected to help the region become an important economic hub for offshore wind energy.

Read: New Wind Turbine Blade Factory for North East England

Offshore Wind Energy Vital for Europe’s Future

January 19, 2010

Wind turbine construction

The European Wind Energy Association has claimed that offshore wind power is vital for Europe’s future in a new report published this month.

The report “The European Offshore Wind Industry – key trends and statistics” confirms that a total of eight new wind farms comprising 199 offshore wind turbines were connected to the grid in 2009. With a combined power generating capacity of 577 megawatts (MW) this represents a growth rate of 54% compared to the 373 MW installed during 2008.

During 2010, the EWEA anticipates the construction of 10 further European offshore wind farms, adding 1,000 MW and equivalent to market growth of 75% compared to 2009.

According to EWEA more than 100 GW of offshore wind farms are currently being planned by project developers and utilities.

Average water depths for offshore wind farms installed during 2009 was 12 metres compared with 21.8 metres for offshore wind farms currently under construction and up to 80 metres for the latest round of offshore areas announced by the UK last week.

Read: Offshore Wind Energy Vital for Europe’s Future