Tag Archive | wind projects

Wind turbine manufacturer to create 106 jobs

A wind turbine manufacturer moving to Kent is to create 106 jobs.X-Wind Power, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced vertical axis wind turbines, is relocating its operations from the Isle of Wight to Discovery Park, Sandwich.Dong Energy described X-Wind as a “potentially game changing technology”.The move was assisted by Kent County Council, Locate in Kent and South Thanet MP Laura Sandys.

She said: “I’m delighted that X-Wind will shortly be based in East Kent, their innovative approach to wind energy generation is truly enlightened, demonstrating how existing roads, railways and sea defences can be used to generate significant amounts of energy.”

X-Wind Power aims to 16 people in 2013 and a further 90 within the next five years.The company is seeking engineers and technicians to become key members of the design team to develop and bring to market the next generation of wind turbines.Apprenticeships are also on offer for candidates with the right attitude and motivation.

“Kent offers X-Wind highly talented people living close to our future base at Discovery Park,” said Michael Blaize, X-Wind Power chief executive officer.“The communication infrastructure and the quality of people locally were some of the deciding factors in choosing Kent for our business.”

X-Wind prides itself on the quiet operation of its turbines which make suitable for sensitive locations.It is also playing a leading role in renewable energy technology. The company sees strong growth potential for the medium scale wind market, and intends to combine innovative design with robust manufacturing processes.After two years of development, it is currently testing its technology at a smaller 6kW scale before moving to a larger 80kW prototype in 2014.

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Runway extension could affect wind farm plans

Cielo Wind Power has been thinking about building a wind farm somewhere on Port of Brownsville property for a decade or so.

The Austin-based company is still thinking about it, and it’s by no means certain all the pieces will fall into place and all the obstacles will be cleared away for such a project to become a reality.

So says Walter Hornaday, who founded Cielo in 1998. According to its website, the firm has completed more than a dozen wind farm projects, most of them in Texas and two in New Mexico. The company recently began another wind farm outside Amarillo that will feature 87 GE wind turbines.

Brownsville is a promising site for a wind farm, though the project could meet an obstacle in the form of Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport’s plans to extend its runway, Hornaday said.

A longer runway would mean planes on approach would fly lower farther away from the airport, which could preclude construction of towering wind turbines.

It’s premature to say, though, since it all comes down to where Cielo wants to build versus how airspace is affected. Airport officials hope to extend the main runway from its current 7,400 feet to 10,000 feet or longer. An environmental review is still under way, though, and no funding has been allocated for the project yet.

“Obviously if you extend the runway there’s more airspace that’s going to be covered,” Director of Aviation Larry Brown said. That said, it’s not yet clear to what extent changes in airspace would affect Cielo’s plans, he said.

“Until we know more details, we can’t answer the question,” Brown said. “It’s all going to be a function of math.”

He said Corpus Christi’s airport is dealing with airspace issues arising from skystream located south and east of Sarita.

Hornaday said he hopes Cielo, if it does decide to move forward with a project at the port, can come to an arrangement with the airport amenable to all parties concerned.

“We’re trying to see what they will allow to be done,” he said. “It’s highly speculative at this point. It’s a great, windy area. The pieces are there. It’s a good wind resource and there’s a growing demand for electricity, but there are a lot of moving parts.”

We suspect those opposed to energy generated by wind turbines will be rubbing their hands together with a good deal of glee this morning, following revelations that the wind farm industry is being propped up by domestic energy bills.

New figures indicate that wind turbine owners received 1.2 billion in consumer subsidies last year. That is, unquestionably, a staggeringly large amount to draw from the public purse at any time, let alone in this period of austerity.

So it seems clear that this assessment of the balance sheet for wind power will be another blow for an industry already reeling from the Government’s recent announcement that new rules will give people greater powers to block turbine applications, when they are proposed near where they live.

We do not, however, subscribe to the view that all wind turbines must therefore be uprooted and dismantled. Far from it. wind energy is a new technology that should and does command significant investment. There is no doubt that wind energy is here to stay. It must surely be allowed to play a part in helping keep the lights on as traditional high-carbon energy sources diminish.

Wind farm rallies blow into town

Opposing sides of an increasingly bitter wind farm debate will rally in Canberra on Tuesday, with supporters gathering in the city and opponents at Parliament House.

Wind farms bring billions of dollars in new investment to regional areas according to their supporters, but households are being slugged with higher power bills, according to opponents.

Crookwell grazier Charlie Prell, who wants to wind generator, said opponents were wealthy, well-connected landholders who did not want to look at the turbines.

“To be honest, we need to stand up and fight for what we believe in,” Mr Prell said. He is a spokesman for NSW Regional Renewables Alliance, a group of 70 landholders and regional businesses, and said the rally in Garema Place at noon would be supported by various groups, including chief organisers Friends of the Earth and the online activist group GetUp! Action for Australia.

In a statement Mr Prell said the Renewable Energy Target had generated $18.5 billion over 12 years and reduced electricity prices by 8 per cent.

Alliance member, Goulburn earthmoving contractor Andy Divall said the RET was making a big difference in regional NSW.

“In the 25 years we have been in business we haven’t seen anything like the opportunities the renewables industry will bring to the region,” he said. Another alliance member, Tarago farmer Joan Limon said: “There are six turbines on my property. They take up very little land. The closest is 800 metres from my house and they don’t worry me, my sheep or my cattle.”

Rallying from 11am under a “Wind Power Fraud” banner, critics will say every turbine is issued between 8000 and 10,000 renewable energy certificates every year, which translates into a tax on power consumers.

Friends of Collector president Tony Hodgson said the rally at Parliament House would show growing opposition to industrial wind power because of rising costs to the community for no benefit.

Mr Hodgson said $52 billion in wind subsidies would ultimately be paid by electricity consumers and taxpayers over the next 18 years.

“The 63 turbines at the proposed wind farm at Collector alone could attract almost $1 billion in that time if the same system of RECs remains in place.”

Joining the anti-wind farm rally will be Boorowa and Yass “landscape guardians”. Mary Ann Robinson from the Yass group said their battle with wind farm proponent Epuron was in flux because Epuron had to re-submit planning documents for a large project west of the town.

Wind farm generates fund money

The county’s biggest wind farm has handed over its first community payment to surrounding villages. The 11-turbine Swinford wind farm, south of Lutterworth, has been generating green electricity since November.

As part of the planning approval, the company agreed to set up the community fund. Energy firm Vattenfall marked the project’s first six months generating power at the weekend with a day of fun, games and activities for the family at the wind farm site and at South Kilworth.

The company also handed over 44,000, the first of 25 annual payments which will go into the combined fund during the life of the wind farm.

Michael Murphy, chairman of the community fund, who supported the project, said: “Vattenfall’s contribution to a community fund will greatly help community life over the next two decades.

“Applications have been received for the fund to support a range of projects, from sports equipment for young people to community buses.

“I would encourage anyone who has any other suggestions to get in touch. Application forms can be picked up from parish councils.”

Thousands of residents opposed the scheme and raised more than 50,000 to fight it at a planning inquiry.

However, the go-ahead was granted by then Secretary of State, John Denham, with the project due to power up to 12,000 homes a year.

Graham Hart, county councillor for the area, said: “Not everyone, myself included, welcomed the idea of wind turbines initially.

“But we’re now delighted Vattenfall is investing in the future of our communities, with the parish councils and young people having their say in how the money is spent.”

The family day featured a marquee full of arts, crafts and games, and saw the announcement of the winners of a turbine-naming competition run with children from South Kilworth and Swinford School.

Seven-year-old Harvey Everton, from Swinford School, won the overall prize for his artwork and naming one of the turbines Swift.

Later in the day, the event moved to South Kilworth village hall, where there was live music, activities for children, along with food and refreshments. The project took just over a year to construct and UK companies received key contracts.

Piers Guy, Vattenfall’s head of onshore wind development in the UK, said: “It was great to see so many of the community taking part in the inauguration event.

“Being on site not only gave them the opportunity to get involved in the activities on the day, but also gave them the chance to see the wind farm up close.

“We were very happy to present the first year of community funding, which we are sure will have a very real impact in the area.”

The turbine towers were constructed in south Wales and another British company was contracted to carry out all the civil engineering work on site.

Businesses in the area also received contracts to provide environmental and geographical surveying, site security, and gravel for the access tracks was supplied by a nearby quarry.

Offshore Wind Rules Set New Standard

The new Rules form part of the wider Mobile Offshore Unit Rule set 2013 launched by Lloyd’s Register in June, and is for vessels engaged in installation and/or maintenance activities relating to offshore wind turbines. It covers a number of unit types as well as liftboats, whose primary function is to provide support services to offshore wind turbine installations or other types of offshore installation.

Vessels which comply with the requirements of the new Rules will be eligible for a new classification notation.

The release of the new Rules and Guidance Notes coincides with reports that operators are suffering from the substantial incremental rise in the cost of constructing offshore wind assets and is casting new light on the value of independent third-party assurance, and how certification authorities are informing asset design and construction.

Rob Whillock, Offshore Renewables Lead Naval Architect at Lloyd’s Register said, “It is critical that throughout the process of independent assurance, there is an eye to the future of the industry as well as current guidelines.”

Offshore wind projects have tended to run late and over-budget, but the industry is forecast to grow at pace. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) estimates that Europe’s offshore wind potential is able to meet the continent’s energy demand seven times over.

Whillock states that modern certification authorities have to offer technical solutions that recognize industry’s future growth.

“As the industry matures, we will see a greater number of larger turbines being installed in deeper water and further from shore, such as the planned 9GW wind farm at Dogger Bank, which lies some 125km off the east coast of England,” said Whillock. “Such developments will require owners and operators of offshore wind farms to rethink their installation and service vessels entirely. The new Lloyd’s Register Rules highlight the importance of independent technical assessment of structures, systems and capabilities. We are demonstrating to the world that our offshore Rules reflect best practice.”

The intention of the new Lloyd’s Register Rules is to help clients understand the classification process and clearly set out the rules to be applied to various vessels and unit types, from the Lloyd’s Register classed ship to the Mobile Offshore Unit.

To support the development of these new Rules, Lloyd’s Register developed a set of client guidance notes (titled Mobile Offshore Units – Wind Turbine Installation Vessels) which were also approved at the recent Offshore Technical Committee where more than 100 industry stakeholders attended Lloyd’s Register’s Singapore based Group Technology Centre. These guidance notes provide summary information on classification rules and regulations, national administration requirements, documentation required to be submitted, and the Rules requirements for various types of units used in installing and maintaining offshore wind turbines. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.scfwindturbine.com.