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SeaGen tidal installation moves forward

Adam Westwood

What's new on the offshore wind and marine project front? Adam Westwood brings us up to date with the latest developments including the news that Marine Current Turbines has successfully completed the first installation phase of the 1.2 MW SeaGen tidal system in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland.

Offshore wind

WPD has placed contracts for Baltic 1, Germany's first offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. Ballast Nedam, a Dutch company, will be responsible for designing, delivering and installing monopile foundations for 21 Nordex N90, 2.5 MW wind turbines. The installation of the monopiles will start in January 2009 using the Svanan floating crane, and A2SEA will begin installing the 21 turbines in July 2009.

Iberdrola Renewables has announced plans for 6 projects totalling 3 GW of capacity – off Spain's Atlantic coast. The company has requested of the Ministry of Industry that the offshore sites be reserved, so that it can conduct studies prior to applying for permits to build the facilities at: Costa de la Luz, Punta del Gato, Punta de las Salinas, Costa de Azahar, Costa de la Luz and Banco de Trafalgar. Each site will have a capacity of 489 MW. Iberdrola's current project pipeline, excluding these projects, stands at around 42 GW.

Construction is poised to restart at the UK's Rhyl offshore wind farm. The Heavy Lifting Vessel (HLV) Svanen will be installing the 25 foundations at the site, five miles off the north Wales coast. HLV Svanen has worked around the world on major construction projects. Its distinctive heavy lifting crane is capable of hoisting an incredible 8500 tonnes, and stands over 80 m above the water. Planning consent conditions allow the main offshore works to be carried out between 1 April and 30 September, with certain activities such as cable and wind turbine installation permitted up to mid December.

Vestas has scooped the contract to supply offshore wind turbines on the 330 MW Belwind project on the Bligh Bank off Belgium. It will supply 110 V90 wind turbines. The award comes very soon after Vestas announced it would be re-offering its problematic V90 to the market. The project, under development by Dutch company Evelop, is located 46 km off Zeebrugge – in 20-35 m water depths – making it the furthest project yet built offshore.

Construction on the project will begin this year, with the 55, first phase offshore wind turbines being installed in 2009 for operation in Q1 2010. The second phase of 55 wind turbines will be added in 2010. All permits on the project have been received and financial close is due mid-2008.

The UK's Gunfleet Sands II project has won approval. Under development by DONG, the 64 MW offshore wind project is timetabled for completion in 2010, and it is anticipated that it will chose the 3.6 MW Siemens wind turbine. Gunfleet Sands I is due for completion in 2009.

Wave and Tidal

Marine Current Turbines has successfully completed the first installation phase of the 1.2 MW SeaGen Tidal System in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland (see image).

SeaGen had its final assembly at the Harland & Wolff dockyard in Belfast. The crane barge, Rambiz, owned by Scaldis, positioned the 1000 tonne tidal power structure onto the seabed on 2 April. The quadropod section that sits on the seabed will be pin piled. Each of the four pins that secure SeaGen will be drilled to a depth of around 9 m. This work is being carried out by Fugro Seacore Ltd.

SeaGen is located 400 m from the shoreline. When fully operational, the tidal turbine's16 m diameter, twin rotors will operate for up to 18–20 hours per day.

SeaGen will enter commercial operation after a commissioning phase of around 12 weeks and supply electricity to the local grid. ESB Independent Energy – the retail subsidiary of ESB (Ireland's national electricity company) – has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with MCT to supply to its customers with the power produced by SeaGen.

In other tidal news, Lunar Energy has sealed a joint venture agreement with the Korea Midland Power Company, to develop a 300-turbine tidal power plant in the Wando Hoenggan waterway off the South Korean coast. The project is timetabled for completion in December 2015.

Last year, the company joined forces with E.ON UK, to announce pioneering plans to develop a subsea tidal stream power farm off the west coast of Britain by the end of 2009. The 8 MW UK pilot plant will use 8 turbines up to 120 m below the surface.

The fabrication and installation of the Korean wind turbines will be carried out by Hyundai Heavy Industries, while Rotech Engineering will provide the specialist components.

About the author
Adam Westwood is Renewable Energy Manager at Douglas-Westwood Ltd.

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Wave and tidal energy  •  Wind power


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