Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Long standing heavy lift specialist company BigLift Shipping, member of the Netherlands-based Spliethoff Group, is more and more engaged with developments in the renewable energy markets in Europe, and also in the US and Asia. Where wind turbines used to be relatively small, new generation turbine parts, particularly monopiles, are now so heavy and large that a state-of-the art heavy lift vessel is required for their transportation. BigLift has a track record when it comes to the transportation of wind-turbine related cargo, such as monopiles, transition pieces, jackets, nacelles, and wind blades. The new generation wind turbine is increasing in size and weight and brings with it a growing need for heavy lift vessels to transport the, also, growing turbine-pieces. BigLift’s Happy S-types and MC-Class Heavy transport vessels – the latter added to the BigLift fleet in January – are eminently suitable for such cargoes. Nacelles and tower sections for Merkur wind farm Starting in 2017, BigLift has made eight voyages for the construction-ready Merkur wind farm, located approximately 45 km north of the island of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea. The wind farm will consist of 66 wind turbines and once complete will generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, enough clean energy to

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The renewable energy market is undoubtedly on the rise, particularly in Europe, where wind power is now the second largest source of electricity behind gas-fired power plants. According to a recent report from Wind Europe, the number of onshore and offshore wind turbines added a record 15.6GW of new energy capacity last year and the industry group also reported that 2017 was a record year for investment in future wind farms with agreements to build another 11.5GW of new capacity, worth around £19.8bn. While the number of renewable energy projects continues to grow, countries early to the renewable revolution such as Germany have older, aging fields that now require integrated inspection and repair programmes to maximise productivity. There is now a greater need for specialists in this field to provide the skills and experience to not only support installation of high quality wind farms, but also to maintain them throughout the full lifecycle. Enhanced lifecycle management Sparrows Group is a global provider of expert equipment and integrated engineering services to the energy and industrial industries. Last year the company acquired Alpha Offshore Service A/S in a deal that significantly strengthened the group’s operations and maintenance capabilities in the wind energy sector. There was a

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In Europe alone, tens of thousands of wind turbines produce energy for countless households. Turbine maintenance or servicing is fundamental to ensure it stays this way. Because employees regularly work at great heights they cannot manage without fall protection systems - for example, when climbing a tower by means of a fall arrest system. PES went to find out about how SKYLOTEC ensure the safety of their employees and the training they offer both in house and globally. Leading manufacturers of fall protection equipment, such as SKYLOTEC, develop solutions for working at heights on wind turbines, with cleverly designed details, which enable simplified application and reduce the risk of an accident. Nevertheless, even if the equipment is intuitive to operate, regular training courses for rescuing colleagues involved in an accident are vital. In Europe, whenever maintenance or servicing work is due to be carried out on the wind turbines, fall protection for employees is mandatory. This does not just apply to once they have already reached the nacelle or the high external areas. In many cases, employees belonging to the maintenance firms or the operator can only reach these work areas by means of a fall arrest system, such as a

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Wind power technology is advancing at a fast pace. The demand for full scale test systems is on the rise. All investors and manufacturers in the wind power industry want to make sure that turbines function flawlessly. A malfunctioning turbine is a nightmare, especially on offshore wind farms. PES brings you the latest from the new Peikko and R&D Test Systems partnership, which combines expertise and know-how, giving added value to the customer. ‘Repairing a turbine in offshore conditions is both difficult and costly. That is why the turbines are put through a series of vigorous tests in a controlled environment,’ says Lasse M. Stephansen, Senior Project Manager at R&D Test Systems. R&D Test Systems is an international engineering company with a strong track record within turnkey test bench solutions for manufacturers and test facilities. End-Of-Line Test is a procedure which every single turbine has to pass. However, it is the Highly Accelerated Life-cycle Test that makes the engineers’ pulses quicken. ‘During HALT, the machinery is subjected to strain equivalent to an entire 25-year life cycle. This puts the equipment under an enormous amount of stress and loads the test bench more than you can imagine,’ Lasse M. Stephansen explains. Foundation first With the increase

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Pant y Maen is a recently consented seven turbine wind farm site in Denbighshire, North Wales. To say the site had a history in relation to wind farm planning would be an understatement. In 2005 the Welsh Assembly Government issued spatial planning policy for large scale onshore wind in Wales (TAN8) which identified seven strategic search areas (SSA), deemed suitable for such developments and with the optimistic target that 800MW would be consented and built within five years. This site lies within the northernmost SSA and is a commercial conifer plantation. In 2007 another developer submitted a planning application for a wind farm called Gorsedd Brân, consisting of 13 turbines up to 125m tip height. The application was refused by Denbighshire County Council (DCC) in February 2008. The decision was appealed by the developer with a slightly amended layout and the appeal dismissed in November 2009. The initial refusal by DCC was on the basis of landscape and visual effects, noise, flooding and ecology. Flooding and ecology issues were resolved with DCC prior to appeal. The appeal was dismissed on the grounds of ‘visual effects of the proposal both within the locality and from more distant views, such as from the Clwydian Range

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The Jan De Nul Group has installed two gravity-based foundations in the Danish waters of the Baltic Sea. Built in Ostend, the foundations were designed entirely by Jan De Nul, based on their client’s basic design. PES wanted to learn more about this ground breaking wind farm. By 2021, the 600MW Kriegers Flak Offshore Wind Farm in the Danish waters of the Baltic Sea, will generate enough electricity to power up to 600,000 homes. Transmission grid operators, Danish Energinet and German 50 Hertz, will connect the Kriegers Flak OWF with the German Baltic 2 OWF, thereby creating the first offshore power grid in the world to combine two offshore wind power installations with the possibility of supplying electricity to either or both, Denmark and Germany. The power grid part of the project is co-financed by the EU. The Kriegers Flak wind farm consists of two sites, each with its own high voltage substation. The Jan De Nul Group, together with its consortium partner Iemants, were responsible for the foundations supporting both these substations. The contract to design, build and install these two Gravity Based Substructures (GBSs) was awarded to the consortium during late 2016. Jan De Nul was in charge of the design,

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The Global Wind Energy Council released its annual market statistics on 14 February from Brussels. The 2017 market remained above 50 GW, with Europe, India and the offshore sector having record years. Chinese installations were down slightly – ‘only’ 19.5 GW - but the rest of the world made up for most of that. Total installations in 2017 were 52,573 MW, bringing the global total to 539,581 MW. The annual market was in fact down 3.8% on 2016’s 54,642 MW; and the cumulative total is up 11% over 2016’s year-end total of 487,657 MW. The offshore segment had a record year with 4,331 MW of installations, an 87% increase on the 2016 market, bringing total global installations to 18,814 MW, representing a 30% increase in cumulative capacity globally. Offshore is still less than 10% of the global annual market, and represents only about 3.5% of cumulative installed capacity, but it’s growing quickly. Beyond the statistics, however, is the fact that wind power is in a rapid transition to becoming a fully commercialised, unsubsidised technology; successfully competing in the marketplace against heavily subsidised fossil and nuclear incumbents. The transition to fully commercial market-based operation has meant that the industry is going through a period

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Since the beginning of this year, US states together have committed to approximately 8,200 MW of offshore wind by 2030. This is a substantial amount of work and provides a visible pipeline of work justifying investments in dedicated and efficient installation solutions. Are these the right conditions to invest in a new build installation jack-up? PES explores the opportunities and hurdles with GustoMSC, a design and engineering company of mobile offshore units and equipment. There is an increasing interest from companies looking to participate in the US offshore wind installation market. Various parties are investigating and preparing in order to be able to invest in the construction of a wind turbine installation jack-up in the future. Parties are considering designs, potential shipyards and discussing with developers and turbine manufacturers. There have been several announcements but to date no company appears to have made a solid commitment to build yet. What are the bottlenecks why are commitments not forthcoming? Last year, the States of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island published a report ‘U.S. Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Study’. GustoMSC has been working on this report for the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). The report is

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After many years of renewables being somewhat the ‘Cinderella’ of the energy industry, it is fascinating to see that it is now offshore wind power driving innovation and its smart solutions are being taken up by the well-established oil and gas sector. A good example was highlighted recently when Damen’s first Service Operations Vessel (SOV), which was purpose-built for the offshore wind market, entered the oil and gas business on a three-year contract. The SOV - with Walk-to-Work capability - is dedicated to the transfer and accommodation of offshore personnel but its design was essentially developed from the requirements of the North Sea offshore wind market. The first vessel, Bibby WaveMaster 1, owned by Bibby Marine Services Ltd, was introduced to the market in 2017 and she headed straight to the offshore wind market in the southern North Sea. However, less than a year later, Bibby WaveMaster 1 will begin a major contract for Total E&P Nederland. Bibby Marine Services announced that Total E&P Nederland will charter the vessel to access gas platforms in the North Sea from April to October this year, but this has now been extended to three years. Three-year contract for Bibby WaveMaster 1 Although there are many synergies between both

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