Spanish company Gamesa signed an MoU with Bard Holding GmbH to jointly develop and market offshore wind turbines and services. The MoU also gives Gamesa the right to develop manufacturing facilities for producing Bard offshore wind turbines under licensing contracts. According to the chairman of Gamesa, “Working together, Gamesa and Bard will become leading players in the world’s offshore wind power market in Europe, USA and Asia”.
France initiated the bidding process for nearly 3,000 MW of offshore wind projects that could cost about $12.7 billion to develop. The country plans to set aside five to 10 offshore areas that have been evaluated for their environmental compatibility. The zones are still being studied and no decision has been made about which will be included in the tenders. The tender process will evaluate the engineering costs of each project in order to set the price at which power from these projects can be sold to French utilities.
French natural gas network GDF Suez SA is already planning a €1.8 billion 705-MW wind park about 14 km offshore Le Treport in northern France, which is being assessed for its environmental impact. Other sites also considered favourable include one near Utah beach in Normandy and areas off Britanny and Languedoc-Roussillon in the Mediterranean Sea. The government is targeting 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020.
UK’s energy market regulator, Ofgem opened the second round of tendering for high-voltage transmission links worth £1.9 billion for six offshore wind projects. Winning tenders for the first links will be announced in summer 2011. This is the second tender round in the offshore transmission regime, which is a joint policy initiative between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem, to encourage cost-effective investment in the vital network links between the offshore wind farms and the mainland grid. Companies will be competing for the right to own and operate the links to 2.8 GW of offshore wind farms for the next 20 years.
The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond held discussions with the Norwegian state oil company Statoil, to develop the “world’s first” commercial-scale floating wind farm in the region. Statoil has identified two locations – one, off Lewis and another off Aberdeenshire – which it believes could be used as pilot parks for the first commercial development of Hywind floating turbines, where three to five Hywind units could be installed to test its commercial capacity.
(picture from http://www.tomorrowisgreener.com)
The Alternative Energy Development Board of Pakistan has revealed that the 2,300 MW of power project deals signed between the country and China are in the danger of being shelved unless China is offered competitive tariffs. The two countries had signed an MoU for 2,000 MW of wind and 300 MW of solar energy generation during a visit from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in 2010. The agreement for the two projects was signed between the Three Gorges Corporation of China (CTGPC) and the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of the Ministry of Water and Power.
Of the total of 2,300 MW planned, 1,000 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar energy were to be generated in Sindh, while 1,000 MW of wind and 200 MW of solar were planned for Punjab, over the next three years. China was to make the entire investment and therefore was concerned about the affordability of the projects. If the final price is not affordable then the agreement is expected to fall through.
However, the silver lining for Pakistan was a joint-venture agreement with Sanir, an Iranian public company with a Pakistani private firm, for the construction of a 1,000 MW wind farm in the province of Sindh. Sanir has already bagged a contract for the construction of another 50-MW wind power plant in Pakistan and for the development of electricity infrastructure.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), China surpassed the US to become the country with the highest installed wind-power capacity by adding 16 GW of new capacity in 2010. With a 62 per cent year-on-year growth rate, China has taken its total installed capacity to 41.8 GW. Comparatively, USA installed about 5 GW of new wind-power capacity last year, taking its total installed capacity to 40.2 GW. It is believed that the US investors’ confidence in the renewable energy sector suffered because the country failed to enact a binding climate change limiting legislation. China is now looking to increase its cumulative grid-connected installed wind-power capacity to 55 GW in 2011 and increase it to 100 GW by 2015, and 200 GW by 2020.
Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa earmarked an investment of over €90 million in China from 2010-2012 in order to reinforce its manufacturing capacities in the country. The company already has four wind turbine components plants with a 3.18 GW project in pipeline. Now it plans to bring two more factories on stream where it is targeting a production capacity of 1.5 GW of turbines per year in 2011. In sync with its expansion plans, Gamesa also bagged an order to supply 1.32 GW of turbines for wind power projects being developed by Chinese companies Guangdong Nuclear Wind and Datang Renewable Power from 2010-2013.
At the same time, American company GE signed a joint venture with HEC, a subsidiary of the power plant equipment giant Harbin Power Equipment, under which the new company will manufacture GE-designed wind turbines for near-shore and offshore applications in China. GE will hold 49 per cent of the stake and 51 per cent will belong to HEC. The duo will also work to develop wind turbines for offshore projects in China using direct drive technology.