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January 2014 Issue

Alstom Installs Haliade 150 Wind Turbine Off Ostend Harbor
Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) installed its new-generation offshore wind turbine, the 6-megawatt Haliade 150, off Ostend harbor at the Belwind site in Belgium.

This is the largest offshore wind turbine ever installed in seawater, according to the company. Thanks to its 150-meter rotor (with blades stretching 73.50 meters), the turbine’s yield is 15 percent better than existing offshore turbines, enabling it to supply power to about 5,000 households.

Following successful tests performed on the first Haliade 150 commissioned in March 2012 at the Le Carnet site in France, this installation will help in confirming how the machine behaves within the offshore environment, for which it was designed.

The 61-meter jacket was set on top of pillars that were sunk to a depth exceeding 60 meters. Then, the three elements of the 78-meter tower were gradually assembled on the jacket. The nacelle is 100 meters above sea level. The overall weight of the turbine and its structure is 1,500 tonnes.

This new-generation wind turbine operates without a gearbox (using direct drive). Thanks to a permanent-magnet generator, there are less mechanical parts inside the device. The Haliade 150 features Alstom’s Pure Torque design, which protects the generator by diverting unwanted mechanical stress towards the tower.

The Carnet wind turbine should be securing its final certification during the first half of 2014. The construction of the two factories in Saint-Nazaire (nacelles and generator) is underway, with completion expected around summer 2014. The construction of the two Cherbourg factories (blades and towers) will follow.


Minesto Wins Award for Underwater Kite
Minesto, based in Västra Frölunda, Sweden, won the Industry Pioneer Award at the International Tidal Energy Summit in London for having proved that it is possible to harvest electricity from low-velocity currents using the step-change Deep Green power plant “underwater kite.”

A quarter-scale prototype of Deep Green is currently producing electricity in the waters off Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

Deep Green is the only known marine power plant designed to produce electricity from low-velocity tidal and ocean currents, according to Minesto.


Virginia’s DMME Closer to Offshore Wind Energy Lease
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has taken another important step toward issuing a wind energy research lease to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) with the finding that there is no competitive interest in the area where the state agency proposes to conduct activities.

This would be the second wind energy research lease offshore Virginia that BOEM is considering.

DMME proposes to design, develop and demonstrate a grid-connected, 12-megawatt offshore wind test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Virginia. The data obtained under this lease will be made publicly available and inform the future production of renewable energy within Virginia’s Wind Energy Area.

In December 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy announced funding awards for seven proposed “Offshore Wind Demonstration Projects” off the nation’s coasts. One of the awards was given to Dominion Resources Inc., which partnered with DMME and others to establish the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project. This project proposes to build the wind test facility on the OCS, adjacent to the BOEM-designated Wind Energy Area offshore Virginia. BOEM continues to work collaboratively with the Department of Energy in reviewing these projects.

The BOEM determination of no competitive interest clears the way for DMME to submit a plan for renewable research activities for which BOEM will prepare a project-specific environmental review with opportunities for public input.


FoundOcean Begins Work on Wind Farm Offshore UK
FoundOcean (Marlow, England) has started work on a ground-breaking offshore wind farm off the northeast coast of the U.K. The wind farm is using the latest design in Transition Pieces, adopting a bolted-flange connection for all of the 73 turbine foundations.

As well as the bolted-flange, the Transition Pieces are also being secured using a high-strength grout which is capable of being mixed and pumped using a high-output Recirculating Jet Mixer (RJM).

When complete, the wind farm will produce 219 megawatts, enough to power 170,000 homes.

The award follows a very successful onshore trial to demonstrate that FoundOcean could exploit its 25 cubic meters per hour-output RJM to mix Parex 100 Newton grout. With this achievement, FoundOcean has taken another significant step towards industrializing the grouting process when using high-strength materials that are normally associated with the much slower batch mixing process.

The primary focus for FoundOcean is to deliver the right grout materials to customers using the most efficient grouting system. To date, the market has demanded blended aggregate materials, with only the Ormonde, Thornton Bank and Borkum West II wind farms being the exceptions by using bulk Portland cement.

Up until now, cement-based blended aggregate materials needed to be transported and mixed in batches to prevent segregation and to ensure the quality of the final material. What Parex has achieved in the formulation and preparation of their 100 Newton Grout material has meant that FoundOcean can now offer a high-strength solution that can be transported and delivered in bulk without risk of separation. The benefit of this is that for each trip offshore FoundOcean can transport more material and grout more foundations more quickly than ever before.

The nonseparating Parex material enables FoundOcean to transport it in silos, which enables FoundOcean to use its silo-fed RJM mixer. This will reduce cement resupply runs and nearly quadruple current high-strength grout output rates, thus contributing to a significant reduction in the time it takes to grout a foundation.


2014:  JAN
2013:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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