Large-scale floating offshore wind power is finally here

Sami Grover for TreeHugger:  Offshore wind energy has been growing like crazy in the last few decades—so much so that there's even talk of serious talk of multi-gigawatt offshore wind farms in the US in the not too distant future.  But offshore wind has so far been limited to areas where the seafloor is relatively shallow, and where it's easy to build foundations for these gigantic turbines. Floating wind turbines are different. Instead of using fixed foundations, they are anchored to the sea floor using cables. And that means they can be located in deeper waters, opening up many more areas where wind conditions are favorable and concerns about views and/or bird migration routes are less relevant. Alongside opening up new areas for development, the other major advantage of floating turbines—once they are being developed at scale—could also be reduced costs.    Cont'd...

Making it happen: 2017, the year for US Offshore Wind

There is every reason to believe that the US will follow the same course as Europe and embrace offshore wind as part of a wider drive to decarbonize electricity generation. For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has enacted a law that requires its utilities to buy 1.6GW of their energy from offshore sources by 2027.

Siemens to build EnBW Hohe See as first offshore wind project with extended scope

-EnBW orders 71 offshore wind turbines including foundations -497 megawatts offshore wind power plant to be grid connected in 2019 -Site located 90 kilometers northern of German island Borkum -Grid connection via HVDC platform BorWin Gamma

Ramboll Environ to participate in ground-breaking study of offshore wind potential on US East Coast

The untapped offshore wind energy potential in the US is estimated by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to be more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW), nearly double the nation's annual electricity use. Yet the first offshore wind farm in the US was completed just last year off the coast of Rhode Island.

Massive wind turbine takes energy generation record

John Anderson for NewAtlas:  A behemoth V164 offshore wind turbine from Danish company MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has produced almost 216,000 kWh over a 24-hour period during tests at its site near Østerild, Denmark in December. In doing so, the 9 MW prototype – a reworked version of the V164-8.0 MW, which was initially developed in 2012 and launched two years later – takes the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine. Since its launch in 2014, the Usain Bolt of wind turbines is essentially in competition with itself, largely due to its superior size over the competition. The V164 stands at 722 feet (220 m) at full height, with 38-ton blades that are 263 feet (80 m) in length for a total sweep area of 227,377 square feet (21,124 square meters) – larger than the giant London Eye Ferris wheel.   Cont'd...

Shepherd and Wedderburn act for Masdar in purchasing stake in Hywind floating offshore windfarm

Shepherd and Wedderburn has acted alongside lead adviser, Allen & Overy, for Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, Masdar, in a deal that sees Masdar acquire a 25% stake in Statoil's Hywind Scotland floating offshore windfarm.

Groups Applaud LIPA, Governor Cuomo for Historic Action Advancing Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Project

Local, state and national organizations hailed this project as an essential first step towards a bold, long-term, large scale offshore wind program for New York

Making the switch: should the oil industry be moving into offshore wind?

Offshore Technology:  The oil & gas and renewables industries are often described as a dichotomy, the old way versus the new, the dirty versus the clean. In reality, from a technical and engineering standpoint, there are many areas of overlap, particularly in countries such as the UK, where a majority of renewable and non-renewable assets are located offshore. Building an oil rig in the North Sea is not all that different to setting up a wind farm. Both jobs require the ability to negotiate choppy waters and bad weather (often using remotely operated vehicles), and the technology to drill or pile foundations into the seabed. Communications and cabling infrastructure present a big challenge in both instances, as do the logistics of transporting and arranging huge components such as derricks and blades.   Cont'd...

Record $30bn year for offshore wind but overall investment down

Chinese slowdown and falling costs of solar power were two of the reasons global clean energy investment fell 18% in dollar terms last year

Giant Wind Turbines Now At Eight Megawatts, And Getting Larger

Peter Kelly-Detwiler for Forbes:  News arrived in late December from the waters off the United Kingdom that the first of MHI Vestas (a joint venture between Vests and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) 8.0 megawatt (MW) turbines is now delivering commercial power to Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension. The entire 258 MW project – to be completed in Q1 of 2017 - will need only 32 such turbines. This is a significant milestone, as wind turbines have become increasingly more powerful over a relatively short timeframe. This 8 MW machine is currently the largest commercial turbine in the world. Less than ten years ago, at the original Burbo Bank project, a 3.6 MW turbine was inaugurated, the largest in the industry at the time.   Cont'd.. .

Offshore wind energy near the Big Apple draws intense bidding

An auction for the rights to develop a wind farm in federal waters starting 12 miles off Long Island, N.Y., shattered records today. After 33 rounds and more than a day of bidding, Statoil emerged as the winner with a bid of nearly $42.5 million.

First US offshore wind farm unlocks vast new ocean energy resource

America's first offshore wind farm began generating electricity today in the waters near Block Island, Rhode Island, opening a new frontier for American energy production. By continuing to tap into abundant offshore wind resources here at home, more clean, reliable electricity can power American homes and businesses while creating well-paying jobs.

Offshore wind energy system combines sea water and wind to create electricity

Megan Treacy for TreeHugger:  We've seen our share of interesting wind power designs, but often the technology can't come anywhere close to matching what the traditional horizontal axis wind turbines can do. There's a reason that when we think of wind energy, we think of giant masts with rotating blades and it's because that design is incredibly effective -- just look at Scotland and other areas around the world that now get a majority of their electricity needs from wind power. The design isn't without its flaws; those rotating blades do pose a hazard to birds and bats and the cost of manufacturing and installing all of those giant parts can be expensive. When it comes to offshore wind power in the U.S., that has been a major roadblock. The energy generation potential is huge, but so is the cost. An energy start-up company called Accio Energy -- yes, a Harry Potter reference -- thinks it has a solution to that problem, one that will generate as much if not more energy from offshore wind than a traditional wind turbine, but at half the cost. There are no moving parts, instead Accio's technology consists of large permeable panels on masts that let the ocean winds blow right through.   Cont'd...

Government support for offshore wind creates massive economic opportunity for Britain

RenewableUK says today's Government announcement of the next round of competitive auctions to support offshore wind will provide a boost for British industry.

New York set for offshore wind after environmental review

Daniel J. Graeber fro UPI:  Areas off the New York coast will be open for offshore wind energy bidders, but some area is reserved because of ecological concerns, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Interior Department, in coordination with its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said it would open 79,350 acres off the coast of New York up for a commercial wind energy lease sale. About 1,780 acres was removed because of environmental concerns associated with a subsea feature known as the Cholera Bank. "In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures," an Interior Department stated read. "As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the proposed sale notice."   Cont'd...

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