Weekly Intelligence Brief: April 13 – 20

Fugro bags contract for Borssele wind farm; Gode Wind initiates foundation installation; Boost for offshore wind sector in Germany

Credit: Jimi Knightley

By Ritesh Gupta

Companies mentioned: Fugro, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Dong Energy, The European Commission, Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens, High Wind, Alstom, Statkraft

Fugro bags contract in Holland

Fugro, an integrator of geotechnical, survey, subsea and geosciences services, has been chosen to execute the geotechnical site investigation and geological modelling of sites I and II of the future Borssele wind farm park.

The company has been contracted by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for this assignment. The 1,400MW Borssele offshore wind farm zone is located off the Zeeland coast at the southern border of the Dutch EEZ.

Based on the geophysical survey data acquired in the first months of this year, Fugro will perform boreholes and seabed cone penetration testing at the site.

The investigation will provide important information for the developers of the Borssele offshore wind farm who are preparing for the tender which will open in December this year.

Fugro will undertake the geotechnical site investigation using two of its dedicated vessels, the MV Bucentaur and the Fugro Commander.


Gode Wind initiates foundation installation

Danish company Dong Energy, which is building Germany’s biggest offshore wind farm 45km from the mainland and around 33km from the islands Juist and Norderney, has achieved a milestone with its Gode Wind Offshore Wind Farm.

The company shared that the first foundation was installed recently at the wind farm in the German North Sea. In all, 97 foundations will be installed in approximately 33m water depth.

The team highlighted that with a diameter of 7.5m the monopiles are extraordinary. The largest monopile, which is 67m long and has a weight of 939 tonnes, is the biggest and heaviest monopile which has ever been installed in the German part of the North Sea.

Boost for offshore wind sector in Germany

Germany’s plans to support the building of 20 offshore wind farms are in line with EU state aid rules, according to The European Commission. The size of each wind farm ranges from 252MW to 688MW and, in total, the projects will provide up to 7 GW of renewable energy generation capacity. As per the information available, 17 projects will be located in the North Sea and three in the Baltic Sea.

The Commission concluded that the project would further EU energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition in the single market.

Germany notified plans to support the construction and operation of several offshore wind farms in October last year. Aid would be granted to operators in the form of a premium paid on top of the market price for electricity.The total investment costs amount to € 29.3 billion. All wind farms are planned to start producing electricity by the end of 2019 at the latest.

The Commission assessed the projects under its guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy that entered into force in July last year.

The projects are carried out under the German support scheme for renewable energy: Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz (EEG Act) 2014, which the Commission approved in July.

Offshore wind power making steady progress

A senior executive from Dong Energy has highlighted that offshore wind power “has taken a significant step towards being competitive with fossil energy sources”.

In a piece written by Jakob Askou Bøss, VP, Dong Energy, it has been mentioned that Horns Rev is a step in the right direction. With a cost estimate in line with the level at which Horns Rev 3 is to be constructed, offshore wind is set to be competitive with fossil energy. He expects that further cost reductions will close the gap within the next 10 years. According to him, a critical aspect that is going to reduce CoE is the amount of capacity being constructed. The large number of ongoing projects gives companies the required basis to invest in mass production and technology development and thereby further reduce costs.

Referring to transparency and certainty for the development in the coming years, he said these aspects are going to be crucial for the continued reduction of the cost of offshore wind power

Mainstream Renewable Power eyes major breakthrough

Mainstream Renewable Power is banking on two technologies as it strives to curtail costs, and combat construction and operational risk associated with offshore wind farms.

In fact, the company has stated that its 448 MW offshore wind farm in Scotland will provide the cheapest electricity ever produced by a UK offshore wind farm. Neart na Gaoithe, which was one of only two offshore wind farms awarded a CfD by the UK government in February, is expected to be generating electricity and fully commissioned by 2020.

The technologies include the new Offshore Transmission Module (OTM), by Siemens Energy Management Division and High Wind’s Boom Lock system to be deployed by GeoSea for wind turbine component installation at sea. The project is expected to be the first commercially-deployed offshore wind farm that does not require a dedicated heavy offshore substation topside and foundation owing to OTM, which will completely remove the need for large heavy offshore substation platforms and the associated specialist installation vessels.

Alstom strengthens ties with Sheringham Shoal

Alstom has secured a three-year service contract from Statkraft for the substations of the 317 MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, located off the coast of North Norfolk, England. The wind farm consists of 88 wind turbines.

The contract, an extension of an existing one, covers emergency support as well as preventive maintenance for one onshore and two offshore substations serving the wind farm. Alstom designed and built the onshore and offshore substations for the wind farm in 2011.

The scope of the maintenance contract includes disconnectors, 132 kV and 33 kV gas insulated switchgear, 132 kV and 33 kV 90 MVA transformers, a 132 kV 60 MVAr shunt reactor, substation automation as well as telecommunications systems and protection. It also includes a 24/7 rapid response to the customer.