The second phase of development of Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, has commenced 80 miles offshore from the Yorkshire coast. Meanwhile, France has awarded what is claimed to be the world’s first long-term contract for difference (CfD) to a commercial floating offshore wind farm. And in Egypt, a 10 MW project has taken the next step to becoming one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms. These stories and more are covered in this wind power news round-up.

The monopile foundations and transition pieces, manufactured by Sif and Smulders, will provide a base for the GE Vernova 13 MW Haliade-X turbines. Installed by the vessels using dynamic positioning technology, the monopiles weigh in at up to 1,424 tonnes each and can measure up to 72.8 metres in length. The Dogger Bank transition pieces feature a new split-level design to support safe installation and operation with an 8-metre flange to connect the monopiles and transition piece structures, according to project developer SSE Renewables.

‘As the world’s largest wind farm of its kind and due to the deployment of new turbine technology, every aspect of the wind farm has required us to come up with new innovative design and engineering solutions,’ notes Olly Cass, Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director.

A total of 277 monopiles and transition pieces will be installed in water depths of up to 32 metres and at a minimum distance of 130 km from shore, across all three phases of the wind farm. Completion is due in 2026.

SSE Renewables also reports that the 30 MW Lenalea wind farm in central Donegal, Ireland, has been commissioned. The project is to supply renewable energy to Microsoft under a corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) as part of the company’s goal of powering its data centre operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Onshore, SSE has taken a final investment decision to proceed with the 50 MW Aberarder wind farm in the Scottish Highlands, with completion scheduled for the end of 2026.

Smart support for offshore wind could be a game changer

In other UK wind news, a new report published by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) says ‘smart new approaches are needed to overcome obstacles such as cost inflation and planning consent delays’ in the UK.

The report warns that the UK government’s ambition to install 50 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with 5 GW of that coming from floating offshore wind, ‘is in danger’ due to such obstacles ‘blunting investor confidence’.

It also shows that the UK currently has 15 GW of installed offshore wind capacity, representing around 30% of total UK electricity generation. The second largest market in the world, after China, the UK is expected to have 18% of the estimated 85 GW of global offshore capacity by the end of 2024, according to OEUK.

European developments

Looking to Europe, the French government has awarded BayWa re and Elicio the AO5 tender to develop what is claimed will be the world’s first commercial floating offshore wind farm to be awarded a long-term contract for difference (CfD). To be located offshore of Brittany, the Pennavel floating wind project would have a capacity between 230 and 270 MW, generating approximately 30% of Brittany’s current renewable energy production.

Meanwhile, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has revealed its plan for the proposed Bornholm Energy Island, which will comprise a 3.8 GW capacity offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, south of Bornholm, as well as high-voltage installations on Bornholm and Zealand.

Crossing to the other side of the Baltic Sea, the onshore Pjelax wind farm in western Finland has been commissioned by Finnish energy companies Fortum and Helen. The 380 MW project consists of 56 turbines and is expected to produce around 5% of Finland’s total wind power production.

Further afield

Further afield, the UAE’s Masdar reports that the proposed 10 GW wind farm in Egypt has taken ‘a major step towards construction’. Together with Infinity Power of Africa and local company Hassan Allam Utilities, it has signed a land access agreement with the Egyptian government. Set to be one of the largest onshore wind projects in the world, the wind farm would cut carbon emissions by 23.8mn t/y, equivalent to 9% of Egypt’s current carbon footprint, claims Masdar. It will also help Egypt meet its strategic objective of sourcing 42% of its energy from renewables by 2030.

Meanwhile, as election fever hots up in the US, Donald Trump is reported to have stated that he will halt offshore wind energy projects ‘on day one’ of a new term as US President if he is elected. The statement is the latest in a series of promises by Trump to undo key aspects of current President Joe Biden’s plans promoting the country’s transition to clean energy.

Extracted from Energy Institute website, read more here

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