Falling costs in Europe are prompting US. offshore wind developers to raise growth outlooks but faster deployment will require accelerated supply chain and infrastructure support, company executives said at the U.S. Offshore Wind 2017 conference on May 8.
Offshore accommodation platforms can boost turbine availability by several percent on larger wind farms and extend the reach of crew transfer vessels further offshore, industry experts told Wind Energy Update.
The planned cost of the 21 MW Icebreaker Great Lakes wind project has fallen 17% in the last two years to $125 million and generation costs are expected to be lower than the 30 MW Block Island wind farm off Rhode Island, Lorry Wagner, president of Icebreaker developer Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), said.
Wind turbine suppliers are leveraging global operations data from hot and sandy sites to drive down costs in growing Middle East and North Africa markets, leading firms said at the MENAWind 2016 conference on May 25.
Switching to self-performance of wind farm operations and maintenance (O&M) at end of warranty can cut costs by between 25% and 35% and allow operators to make more design improvements to increase unit reliability, Jeff Wehner, VP Renewable Operations, Duke Energy, said.
Deepwater’s new capacity market agreement for the Block Island wind farm highlights the range of offtake options available to offshore projects but long-term power purchase contracts will prove crucial until the technology can compete in the wholesale markets.
DONG Energy’s massive Hornsea Project One farm will set a long-standing capacity record due to state and private financing challenges but the benefits of clustering and standardization should be felt across industry, experts said.