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March 2014 Issue

Alstom to Supply Wind Turbines for Block Island Pilot Wind Farm
Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) signed a contract to supply five offshore wind turbines for Deepwater Wind's (Providence, Rhode Island) 30-megawatt Block Island pilot wind farm located off the coast of Rhode Island. The project, scheduled for commissioning in 2016, will be one of the first offshore wind farms in the U.S. and will be the world's first to feature Alstom's Haliade 150-6MW—the largest turbine installed in offshore waters today. The five turbines will produce approximately 125,000 megawatt-hours of electricity each year, enough to provide power for more than 17,000 homes.

This project will be the first to support the exportation of offshore wind turbines from France and will leverage the French industrial base Alstom is developing.

The contract scope includes the manufacturing of five Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines and 15 years of operation and maintenance support for the Block Island Wind Farm. The Haliade 150-6MW wind turbine operates without any gearbox (using direct drive), thanks to a permanent-magnet generator. Its 150-meter-diameter rotor provides an energy yield that is 15 percent better than existing offshore turbines.

The Block Island project could lead to a larger utility-scale offshore wind farm of more than 1 gigawatt supported by a regional transmission system linking Long Island, New York and southeastern New England.

This project represents an important technological step for the Haliade 150-6MW. Along with the installation of two wind turbines in Europe—the first onshore at le Carnet site in France and the other in Ostend, Belgium—this pilot farm in the U.S. will enable Alstom to develop its offshore technology to the point where it can launch serial production.

DNV GL Predicts Future Alternative Fuel Mix for Shipping
DNV GL (Høvik, Norway) has released a position paper on the future alternative fuel mix for global shipping. While LNG is expected to be an early success, the picture becomes more diversified with time, as more than 20 percent of shipping could adopt hybrid propulsion solutions, featuring batteries or other energy storage technologies.

The main drivers for the use of alternative fuels are the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the need to meet upcoming air pollution requirements.

The global merchant fleet currently consumes around 330 million tonnes of fuel annually, 80 to 85 percent of which is residual fuel with high sulfur content.

In the long term, short sea shipping is expected to take advantage of locally produced fuels such as biogas, biodiesel, methanol, shoreside electricity and hydrogen. Deep-sea shipping needs globally available fuels and so will tend towards LNG and biodiesel, if it becomes available. Nuclear energy often suffers from public perception problems but may come to the forefront sometime in the future if it can begin to be perceived as a safe alternative.

While renewable energy, particularly solar and wind may have some potential to mitigate carbon emissions, this is not seen as a viable large-scale alternative for commercial shipping.

An evaluation of well to propeller greenhouse emissions, rather than just shipboard potential to reduce emissions, demonstrates some major drawbacks for some of the options, as does an evaluation of potential availability. For example, the availability of land to grow biofuels is a significant barrier to its widespread use, with an area the size of Greece required to produce 50 million tonnes of biodiesel.

The position paper features a discussion on ways to overcome the challenges ahead during the transition towards a more sustainable future for shipping.

Full-Scale Demo of New Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation
DONG Energy (Fredericia, Denmark) and the UK Carbon Trust, through its Offshore Wind Accelerator program (OWA), have reached an agreement to collaborate. OWA has awarded DONG Energy £6 million to co-fund a full-scale demonstration of a new offshore wind turbine foundation called the Suction Bucket Jacket.

DONG Energy's goal is to drive down the cost of electricity by 40 percent for projects sanctioned in 2020.

If the demonstration is successful, it could be implemented in future commercial projects from 2017, including the U.K. Round 3 projects.

The Suction Bucket Jacket combines jacket technology, consisting of welded tubular space frames, with suction buckets for anchoring the foundation firmly to the seabed. The bucket foundation (suction caisson) is a well-known concept from the oil and gas industry, where it has been used for more than 30 years for oil platforms installed in the North Sea.

DONG Energy will demonstrate a full-scale Suction Bucket Jacket prototype at the offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 1, where the sandy soil conditions are highly suitable for testing. The foundation will be installed in 2014.

FoundOcean Sees Progress in 2013 Renewables Industry
In 2013, FoundOcean (Marlow, England) played a key role in numerous foundation installations within the renewables industry, the company said. FoundOcean completed grouting operations at the West of Duddon Sands 108-monopile wind farm. The DONG Energy (Fredericia, Denmark) project took just five months to complete, averaging 21 foundation installations per month. Once fully operational, the wind farm will produce enough energy to power more than 300,000 U.K. households.

The grouting operations took place using the new range of FoundOcean's super-fast Pan Mixers, providing delivery rates of ultrahigh strength grouts up to 12 cubic meters per hour—more than double the current industry standard.

FoundOcean also secured the foundations for the world's two largest offshore turbines: the Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea) 7-megawatt test turbine at Energy Park Fife and the Belwind Demo Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) Haliade 150-6MW turbine, which is located off the Belgian coast.

2015:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV
2014:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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