Tag Archives: wind energy

Updates from McKinsey

Japan offshore wind: The ideal moment to build a vibrant industry
As construction starts on Japan’s first large commercial offshore wind farm in the coastal waters of Akita, the country is heralding a future of energy independence.
By Sven Heiligtag, Katsuhiro Sato, Benjamin Sauer, and Koji Toyama – With the passage in late 2019 of a law that allows offshore turbines to operate for 30 years, Japan has begun in earnest its journey away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

The two wind farms of the ¥100 billion Akita project will generate with a capacity of 140 MW, enough electricity to power at least 150,000 of Japan’s 52 million homes. By 2030 Japan plans to have installed a total of 10 GW, and the country’s possibilities are even greater. The International Energy Agency estimates Japan has enough technical potential to satisfy its entire power needs nine times over.

Japan can take advantage of the technology advances and cost improvements the offshore wind industry has made since its early days in Denmark in the 1990s. Today, it can learn from the experiences of other countries, not only in creating the turbines and wind farms but also in building markets, setting offtake prices, and designing regulation and financial incentives.

In only a handful of decades, offshore wind has become one of the core power-generation technologies of Europe, with installed capacity of 22 GW2 and about 100 GW planned by 2030.3 Taiwan and the United States have already commissioned the first small projects and plan for more than 10 and 25 GW by 2030, respectively.4 During the industry’s 30-year evolution, costs have fallen so sharply that offshore wind now compares favorably with competing energy sources.

But that does not mean Japan’s journey will be simple. It will require multiple players, including regulators, utilities, and investors, to do their part in a country where the public remains skeptical about offshore wind’s cost competitiveness with other power sources. more>

Updates from GE

GE Is Helping Build A Huge Wind Farm On Santa’s Doorstep, Europe’s Largest
By Dorothy Pomerantz – In Markbygden forest in the northern Sweden, the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees Celsius in the winter and bitter winds blow. That makes this area 60 miles south of the arctic circle uncomfortable for humans, but the sparsely populated region, where real reindeer roam, is perfect for a wind farm.

Engineers there are now building the roads and preparing the land to erect some of the world’s largest wind turbines. When the project is complete, 179 GE turbines, each twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, will rise approximately 140 meters above the forest, where they will catch the nearly ceaseless wind to generate 650 megawatts of electricity. When complete in 2019, it will be the largest operating wind farm in Europe, increasing Sweden’s installed wind generation by 12 percent, says Thomas Thomsen of GE Renewables.

GE machines already power Europe’s largest operational wind farm in Fântânele-Cogealac in Romania, which can generate 600 megawatts. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Spain’s Forestalia Group to supply wind turbines for a planned 1,200-megawatt wind farm near Aragon. The company also will supply turbines for the planned 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher in the Oklahoma Panhandle, which will be the largest wind farm in the U.S. more>

Updates from GE

By Amy Kover – Standing on a 10-foot-wide platform 365 feet above the rolling green hills of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Kristen Hough looks tiny. The winds at this height are strong enough to spin a 500,000-pound wind turbine at 14 revolutions per minute. One strong gust could push a person over.

But Hough, 28, also looks unafraid. A wind technician, Hough is part of a team that is responsible for the electrical and mechanical upkeep of 61 turbines here that can produce 185 megawatts of energy — enough to power an entire city. She makes the climb to the top of a wind turbine at least once a day. At that height, Hough is in her element. “Even climbing the turbines [the first few times], it was so exciting that I knew it was what I was supposed to do,” she says.

Hough’s shift typically begins each morning at 7 a.m. when lead technician Mitch Burns assigns Hough and her five teammates to either handle routine maintenance — like tightening bolts and greasing gears — or troubleshoot problems. For instance, if the temperature in the gearbox appears a bit high, Hough needs to figure out why and fix it. Sometimes she can resolve the issue with a few taps on her laptop, but it -often requires hands-on attention instead. That’s when Hough gets out her safety gear and starts the long ascent to the top of the turbine. more> https://goo.gl/vWg2At

Updates from SIEMENS

Second North Sea platform linking up offshore wind farms installed
SIEMENS – Nordic Yards has constructed the topside for BorWin2 in its Warnemünde shipyard as a one-off job tailor-made for Siemens.

Once it goes on line, BorWin2’s output of 800 MW will provide wind power for 800,000 households on the mainland.

The offshore platform is 51 meters wide, 72 meters long and 25 meters high – and if the two permanently installed cranes are counted, the overall height adds up to 40 meters. Weighing almost 12,000 tons, the giant steel structure has been designed to spend the next 30 years on rough seas.

During that time, the material will be exposed to extreme conditions, especially in winter when the spray on the surface freezes to ice, which makes particularly tough demands of the paintwork and the anti-corrosion coating. The photo shows the platform as built, before the anti-corrosion coating was applied. 28 months have passed from the start of work to leaving the dock; the final touches will be made to the HVDC platform at sea.

The substructure - also known as the baseframe - on which the platform is erected, covers an area of 51 x 47 meters. (Siemens)The cable route runs through the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. To protect the flora and fauna, strict rules apply in this nature preservation area: for instance, the cables had to be laid within a certain time window and using special equipment to minimize nuisance and impact.

The converter tower for Diele has undergone advance high-voltage shop testing in Siemens’ own test bed in Dresden to verify the resistance of the insulation. The converter technology has been installed both in the onshore station and offshore on the platform. HVDC Plus technology is used on the platform to convert the alternating current generated by the wind farms into low-loss direct current. This is then transported to the mainland via a submarine cable, with a total loss of less than four percent.

The heart of the BorWin 2 grid connection is the BorWin beta offshore converter platform, which houses the Siemens system for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission. Successfully installing this system on the high seas was the most critical part of the project.

Apart from constructing and installing the offshore platform itself, which transforms the alternating current generated into direct current for low-loss transmission, a submarine cable had to be laid and a converter station set up on the mainland. That is where the power delivered from the offshore generating installations is converted into alternating current for feed into the national grid. more> http://tinyurl.com/ljkzbds

Updates from SIEMENS

SIEMENS {VIDEO 9:44} – To make wind power independent from subsidies, Siemens is working to advance industrialization in the wind sector. Following the commercial truck industry’s lead, Siemens is introducing industrialized production processes. Since Siemens moved nacelle production to the assembly line, production time has been cut from 36 hours to 15 hours.

Platform concept brings success
Siemens relies on a concept in which all Siemens wind turbines are pooled together under the umbrella of four product platforms. Each turbine has five or six modules that are used in different turbines within a single platform. Turbines from Group G4 (geared) were installed for the Riffgat project. more> http://tinyurl.com/n7st8zn

Updates from SIEMENS

SIEMENS – Today (July 04), DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar, marked the official inauguration of London Array, the world’s largest operational offshore wind power plant to date at an official event in Margate, Kent. Rated at 630 MW, Phase One of London Array generates enough energy to power around 500,000 British homes and displaces over 900,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent to taking nearly 300,000 cars off the road each year. Siemens was responsible for the supply of 175 wind turbines, the grid connections and will provide service under a long-term agreement together with Dong Energy.

Siemens supplied the mechanical and electrical equipment for the two offshore substations as well as the onshore substation in Cleve Hill. The energy generated by the wind turbines is bundled and transported via high-voltage submarine cables to the coast. These four export cables, each have a length over 50 km each. Over 200 km on inter-array cabling connect the turbines to each other and to the offshore substations. One of the offshore substations is shown in the picture (left). more> http://tinyurl.com/m2hayee

Updates from SIEMENS

Training facilities around the globe
SIEMENS – Siemens has a total of four global wind service training facilities in Denmark, Germany, the UK and the U.S. for the special training of offshore service technicians. All four locations have received certification from the Global Wind Organization (GWO) for their offshore safety training. These facilities are equipped with full-size turbine components, climbing towers, classrooms, and other apparatus needed to mimic real-live conditions. This gives each Siemens technician the hands-on training to be prepared for later deployment.

It takes a special kind of individual to perform offshore wind service. The job requires advanced technical and classroom training and expertise as well as comprehensive safety training. This requires superior physical endurance and stamina, since they must be prepared for conditions that can change at a moment’s notice. The sea can be as unpredictable as the skies, and everyone has to be prepared. You cannot afford to be afraid of heights or be prone to seasickness. more> http://tinyurl.com/ow7rv9u