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November 2011 Issue
Offshore Wind Revenues Projected to Pass $100B in 2017
Market research firm Pike Research forecasted in October that revenue from offshore wind power production will reach $104 billion in the next six years, representing a 53 percent compound annual growth rate over the next six years. Under a more aggressive scenario in the report, "Offshore Wind Power," revenue from the sector could reach $130.5 billion.
The largest markets for offshore wind through the remainder of this decade, Pike said, will be in Western Europe, which as a region will account for 75 percent of global installed capacity in 2017.
The burgeoning industry isn't cheap: high infrastructure, installation and maintenance costs make up roughly 70 percent of the total expenses for offshore wind projects. The market research firm said this means the long-term fate of the industry hinges on driving down energy costs closer to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour over the next two decades.
The U.K. is the market leader in Europe, Pike said, with Germany also coming on quite strong. Pike predicts that China's offshore wind market will pull even with Europe's two largest players by the end of the forecast period, with the United States trailing.
Pike said the key factors that will shape the market include a move toward larger wind turbines, new innovations for less expensive operations and maintenance, a focus on high-voltage DC transmission lines and the need to secure new sources of financing. For more information, visit www.businesswire.com.
Deepwater Wind Submits Plan for 1 GW Wind Farm in US
Deepwater Wind (Providence, Rhode Island) submitted in October plans to the government to develop a 1,000-megawatt, utility-scale offshore wind farm off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The company's Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC) is planned to be sited in the deep waters of southern Rhode Island Sound, with most turbines located 20 to 25 miles from shore. Construction is planned to begin in 2014 or 2015, with the first turbines in operation in 2016 or 2017.
With as many as 200 wind turbines, DWEC would be the largest offshore wind farm planned in the U.S.; its backers say economies of scale will push its power prices lower than earlier U.S. offshore wind projects.
The company is also developing a regional offshore transmission network, the New England-Long Island Interconnector, which will link DWEC to southern New England and eastern Long Island. The company plans to base manufacturing and construction operations at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, where the company has more than 100 acres on option to lease. Deepwater Wind is also exploring port and other facilities in Massachusetts.
There's an additional benefit to the project, Deepwater Wind said. At 1,000 megawatts, the project may be large enough to entice domestic and foreign suppliers to establish parts of their fabrication, manufacturing, assembly and support services in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://dwwind.com.
Aquamarine Power Raises £10 Million
Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh, Scotland) announced in September £7 million in new funding and a £3.4 million bank loan, as well as a commitment of further investment in the company from its existing shareholders over the next two years.
The company has closed a funding round of £7 million, with £3 million each from major shareholders SSE Venture Capital and ABB, and a further £1 million from Scottish Enterprise. Aquamarine Power's existing major shareholders are working together to develop a further funding package of £18 million to take the company to commercialization in 2014.
The news follows the announcement earlier in September of a £3.4 million loan from Barclays to part-finance the completion of the 2.4-megawatt Oyster array located at the European Marine Energy Centre. This was the first financing deal of its kind in the sector, Aquamarine said. For more information, visit www.aquamarinepower.com.
Cougar ROV Redesigned for Wind Turbine Work
Pommec (Hoogerheide, Netherlands) has ordered four customized, leaner versions of Saab Seaeye's (Hampshire, England) Cougar XT ROV that will be used for shallow-water wind turbine construction, Saab Seaeye announced in September.
Both low profile and powerful enough to handle the strong currents found in the shallow waters off the Belgium coast, the slim-line Cougar XT Compact will be used in the construction of 48 turbines by Pommec's customer, D.E.C.O. NV (Bruges, Belgium).
D.E.C.O. needed an ROV system that could function in strong currents and poor visibility, and also work alongside high-cost pile-driving operations with zero downtime, Saab Seaeye said. Pommec's solution was a completely duplicated system spread with two identical Cougar XT Compacts in each system, making it easy to switch between ROVs and between systems.
To create a compact version and minimize the effect of current, Saab Seaeye engineers reduced the frame size, buoyancy and weight. A thinner 17-millimeter tether was also used to decrease drag. The compact design has the highest thrust-to-weight ratio in its class, Saab Seaeye said. For more information, visit www.pommec.com.
OPT, Lockheed to Work on Oregon PowerBuoy
Pennington, New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) has found a new partner, Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, Maryland), which will provide expertise in design, manufacturing, system integration and supply chain management for its PB150 PowerBuoy wave power generation project in Reedsport, Oregon.
The news, announced in September, follows completion of Oregon's first PB150 steel structure. Testing of the advanced power take-off and control system is now in process at OPT's production facility in a test environment simulating wave conditions off the Oregon coast. Assembly, systems integration and land testing of the PB150 is planned to occur over the next several months. It is intended to be the first of a proposed 10-buoy wave power station with a peak generating capacity of 1.5 megawatts, equivalent to the power needs of about 1,500 homes. For more information, visit www.oceanpowertechnologies.com or www.lockheedmartin.com.
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