Wind Farms


The Largest Wind Farm in the World Opens Today.

The Thanet wind farm in the English Channel off Foreness Point will be officially opened later today, making it the larget offshore wind farm in the world.

The 100 turbines, each measuring more than 350ft / 115m and spread over an area of 35 sq km , and will increase the amount of energy generated from offshore wind in the UK by a third to,  1,314MW, compared to 1,100MW in the whole of the rest of the world.
With the added capacity of Thanet, the amount of electricity generated by wind in the UK is almost 5,000MW or 5GW, enough to power 3 million homes. The Thanet development is projected to generate enough electricity to power 240,000 homes. It cost £780million to develop and 2 years to complete

 Thanet wind farm, built by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, increases the number of large scale turbines off the coast of Britain to 436. There are already 2,640 on land. There are also over 900 currently beign constructed, both off and on-shore
and a further 2,300 with planning consent.


Green Apprenticeships

Further confirming Fife's Energy Park as a leader in wind energy technology, a plan to initiate 150 apprenticeships in green energy at a cost of £62,000 a year has been announced today.
Carbon Free Developments, in association with Adam Smith College, will fund six places annually. The scheme will be operated in association with a new nine-turbine farm, on a former open-cast coal mine site at Earlseat. If approved, the wind farm is expected to have an installed capacity of 20.7MW, which could power up to 11,000 homes.
The apprenticeships will be open to school leavers and those who are unemployed or need to retrain.
This year Scottish Enterprise earmarked Fife's Energy Park as one of 11 hubs to benefit from investment in offshore wind turbine manufacturing.


Fife set to become leader in wind energy

Fife is set to become a centre of offshore wind enrgy production.
Roy Evans, from The Crown Estate, which has responsibilty for energy prjects in UK waters, outlined the planned development of offshore wind farms that will make the UK the biggest offshore wind market in the world.Three major wind farm sites are going to be to be located less than 60 nautical miles from Fife Energy Park, which is based on the former Kvaerner oil fabrication yard at Methil.
These developments are expected to give a boost to the local economy with local firms becoming world leaders in specializations such as sub-sea cabling.


Teeside to become hub of green industry

Steelmaker Corus is to develop a new offshore wind farm business

The facility will be located on the vast 3,000-acre site in Redcar, bringing over 200 jobs to  replace some of the 1600 that were lost when the steel plant shut in February. 

 It will produce the steel structures used to fix wind turbines to the seabed known as monopiles. The structures, which can weigh 650 tonnes, will be developed in re-equipped buildings within the existing site.

Geoff Waterfield, chairman of the Corus multi-union committee, said "Companies like ours should certainly be looking at renewable energy, as projects will require a huge amount of steel and the north-east has been earmarked for that. But it is a new area for Corus and it is a little bit of a gamble. This is a good opportunity for the government to give some support to Corus that was not forthcoming earlier in the year."

And Jimmy Skivington, GMB regional organiser is optimistic for the region's regeneration as a centre for environmental industry.

“It’s been a very bleak year, but this is a sign on the horizon that work is coming back into the area. Corus will be a big player in the wind industry. Heerema at Hartlepool is getting work in green industries, biomass plants and new builds are coming on, we’re moving in the right direction. We can position ourselves to be a hub. It’s fantastic news.”


Google blows

Google has signed up to a 20 year partnership with a wind farm  in Iowa, United States The energy produced will give Google enough power to maintain several of their data centers.
Google’s senior vice president for operations, Urs Hoelzle said: “This is a case where buying green makes business sense. By contracting to purchase so much energy for so long, we’re giving the developer of the wind farm financial certainty to build additional clean energy projects.”
This deal will be the first by Google Energy LLC, which was established last December to acquire large volumes of renewable energy by participating in the wholesale market. Google will start buying 114MW of energy directly from the wind farm on 30 July this year. The remaining 36MW from Story II are currently being sold to the city of Ames in Iowa.
In an official statement they explained
" In this case, we’re buying renewable energy directly from its source – the wind farm. We cannot use this energy directly, so we’re reselling it back to the grid in the regional spot market – but retiring the RECs associated with the power. By obtaining RECs through the purchase of green power, our deal has a greater impact on the renewable industry than simply buying “naked” RECs from third parties; our long-term commitment directly frees up capital for the developer to build more wind projects.
While we are happy to be purchasing renewable energy as part of our environmental commitment, this is also a structure that makes long term financial sense for Google. Through the long term purchase of renewable energy at a predetermined price, we’re partially protecting ourselves against future increases in power prices. This is a case where buying green makes business sense."
This step is consistent with strong environmental position of Google, with a special emphasis on energy and wind power. In May, they made the first direct investment in electricity generation with an investment  of $ 38.8m (£ 25.5m) for two wind projects in North Dakota, which use advanced turbine technology.
Rick Needham, green business operations manager at Google, acknowledged that the investment marked something of a shift in the company's green investment strategy after its earlier funding for a number of high-profile renewable energy start-ups.
"We have been dedicating resources to developing new technologies, including making investments in early-stage renewable energy companies such as eSolar and AltaRock," he said. "Smart capital includes not only these early-stage company investments, but also dedicated funding for utility-scale projects. To tackle this need, we’ve been looking at investments in renewable energy projects, like the one we just signed, that can accelerate the deployment of the latest clean energy technology while providing attractive returns to Google and more capital for developers to build additional projects."
Google's stakes in the wind farms are in the form of tax equity investments, in which investors take over a project and use federal tax credits granted to the project to offset their own taxes as a return.
There has been speculation for some time that Google will ultimately invest directly in large-scale renewable energy projects. The company's datacentres are among the largest consumers of electricity in the corporate world and the company has long maintained that it is in their economic interest to ensure the supply of renewable energy.


No Wind Turbines for Bodmin Moor Coastline

Cornwall councillors have voted overwhelmingly to scrap a  scheme by Community Windpower to erect 20, 413ft-high turbines at Davidstow.
Cornwall Council's east sub-area planning committee rejected the proposals last year, but  the decision was reversed by the strategic planning committee last October. subject to certain criteria being met relating to safeguarding local bird life and concerns over interference with air traffic control systems.  However, a report prepared for councillors said "neither the communications issue nor the bird issue have been resolved in any satisfactory way".
Loacal people were adamant and vociferous in their opposition to the scheme due to it's proximity to the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the North Cornwall Coast AONB and Heritage Coast.
Ted Venn, of the Cornish branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), welcomed the decision. "If this had been built there would have been 61 turbines to the north of Bodmin Moor and that is what people were objecting to."
Source - This is Cornwall


Offshore Wind Developments are Good For Marine Life

A comprehensive report has found that offshore wind developments are not necessarily bad for fish and other marine life, In fact, they may be beneficial. The most risk is at the early stages of construction, when special care needs to be taken not to disrupt spawning grounds. This is usually a question of sensitive timing, and any disruption is generally temporary. The benefits come from trawling exclusion and planned habitat enhancement.
Source :


£10 million in grants to develop offshore wind technology

The Department of Energy and Climate Change. has announced £10 million will be given in grants to develop offshore wind technology
£5 million  will be awarded to 7 UK companies and aim to increase the UK supply chain for offshore wind.
A spokesperson for Converteam , one of the 7 companies , who will receive £1,000,000 said:
"I am pleased at the announcement of DECC’s support to Converteam, the UK's largest exporter to the Wind Industry, in building a full scale test and technology demonstration stand for game changing British wind power generation technology, at their Northern European Headquarters in Rugby, Warwickshire. In a four stage programme, Converteam will take their 'DC Architecture' through rigorous factory, onshore and offshore tests, to be proven in time for the start of The Crown Estate Round Three deployment phase.
For a given investment, by producing and delivering more electricity, this targets the electrical components of making offshore wind power cost competitive with onshore wind"
The Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said of the 7 companies that have been awarded grants
"These businesses are great examples of an emerging supply chain which is set to grow into a world leader if it continues to get the right support to continue to develop novel technology solutions to grasp the sizeable opportunities in this emerging sector.”
Source Wind Power Generation News from the Carbon Trust and


Isle of Lewis residents object to Norwegian proposals

Two offshore wind farms have been proposed for the Isle of Lewis by Norwegian state-owned oil firm Statoil. 
One would  be situated just off the Point area near Stornoway, and  the other between Ness and Cape Wrath.
However, local people have already expressed opposition saying the development will be too big and will spoil the view. Source: BBC News


Blown away on Rockaway Beach

After a nine-year federal review process the U.S. Department of Interior has approved the first-ever, utility-scale offshore wind energy project for New York State, the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound. New York state is one the leaders in USA windpower,in 2009 existing projects contributed 1,274 megawatts of capacity to the grid.
The new wind development is planned to be located roughly 13 nautical miles off the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean. Source : Gotham Gazette


Offshore project will have "negligible impact upon birds and fish"

The Department of Environmental Protection released a draft report Friday on the preliminary findings of a two-year research project examining the potential ecological impact offshore wind energy projects would have in the New jersey area.
“This is a groundbreaking study,” said Dr. Gary Buchanan, manager of the DEP’s Office of Science, who presented the report at DEP headquarters Friday morning. “New Jersey is the first state to take such a detailed scientific look at its offshore ecological resources in the context of wind energy.”
According to the draft report, wind energy turbines, which could be located three to 20 miles off the New Jersey coast, would have negligible impacts upon bird, fish and marine mammal life

Source : NJbiz


Proposed Wind Farm on Lake Erie

A proposal for an offshore wind project on Lake Erie is meeting with a mixed reaction - initial discussions at the County Legislature were met by supporters, but some locals have concerns over the impact on the region. Source Buffalo YNN


List of Offshore wind farms in the UK

This is an excellent list of offshore wind farms in the UK. I'll be working my way through it and posting some sources of information on each one.


New Offshore Wind Farm for Liverpool Bay.

An offshore wind farm in being constructed 18 kilometres from the North Wales coast at Gwynt y Môr. Situated in Liverpool Bay it will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in construction, eventually supplying power to around 400,000 UK homes.
Work is due to start next year and is projected to be completed in 2014.
Source : wirral globe


New Wind Farm Plans for China

China's total wind capacity is the biggest in the world and has doubled for four consecutive years.
The growth area is seen to be in offshore wind projects.Four offshore wind farms along the coast of eastern China's Jiangsu province have recently been put out to tender, and involve a total capacity of 1,000 MW. Bids will end on Sept 12. Source :alibaba


New Wind Farm for Italy

Italy currently has no offshore wind farms, but one is beong proposed for the southern Apulia region. Source: London South East


New offshore wind farm proposed for Scotland

A new offshore wind farm is being proposed for Inch Cape, 15.5 kilometres east of the Angus coastline. A Strategic Environmental Assessment by the Scottish Government is expected later this year. Source: Your Industry News


Wind Energy Park Opened in Sweden

The first wind energy park on the lake Vänern, Vindpark Vänern has been opened.
The Vänern wind farm is located in the Northern part of the lake near Gässlingegrund 7 kilometres from the shoreline. The wind farm is remarkable especially because with help of this pilot project information will be gathered on how to make wind turbines work optimal in big lakes. Source offshorewindfbiz

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm

The Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the south-east coast of England has started producing electricity and should be complete within a few months.
Source Reuters