August's top stories: Report UK offshore wind can create jobs, Dong wins UK approval for Hornsea

The UK offshore wind industry can open new job opportunities in east coast ports and strengthen the country’s economy, states BVG Associates' report, the UK Government has given approval to a £6bn offshore wind project in the North Sea owned by Danish utility Dong Energy. Power-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from August 2016.


New report finds UK offshore wind industry can create jobs in east coast ports

The UK offshore wind industry can open new job opportunities in east coast ports and strengthen the country’s economy, states BVG Associates' report.

The new report has revealed the east coast ports between East Anglia and Scotland are able to support the development of several offshore wind projects to be constructed in the North Sea over the coming decades.

Development of these new projects will both boost economic activity in some of the most economically deprived regions of the UK and support the establishment of more supply chain companies across the country. This will help serve further projects in UK waters and help export goods across the globe.

Dong Energy secures UK approval for £6bn Hornsea Project Two

The UK Government has given approval to a £6bn offshore wind project in the North Sea owned by Danish utility Dong Energy.

The Hornsea Project Two offshore windfarm is  located 89km off the Yorkshire coast. It will feature up to 300 turbines and have a capacity of up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) and is being developed by SMartWindgy.

A development consent order (DCO) was granted by the secretary of state for energy Greg Clark at the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate. DCO covers the complete project, including the turbines, foundations, offshore and onshore substations, array cables, and export cables.

Voith receives contract to upgrade Scotland’s small hydroelectric power station

German technology group Voith has secured a contract from UK-based energy supplier SSE to upgrade the Mucomir small hydroelectric power station in Scotland.

Under the terms of the deal, Voith is responsible for the construction, installation, and commissioning of the power station's turbines.

The company will also have to oversee replacement of the digital governors and hydraulic units, as well as  modernisation of the generator.

UK's Gaelectric receives EU grant to develop 330MW Larne CAES project

UK-based renewable energy group Gaelectric has received a further €8.28m in funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of the EU to develop a 330MW energy storage project in Northern Ireland.

Located on the Islandmagee peninsula near the port town of Larne in Northern Ireland, the new project uses compressed air energy storage technology (CAES). The funding will be used by Gaelectric to drill an appraisal well and conduct detailed studies into the design and commercial structure.

The Larne CAES project will store energy in the form of compressed air in specially tailored caverns created within geological salt deposits. These are located at depths of nearly 1.5km below ground level at the northern end of the Islandmagee peninsula on the east coast of Northern Ireland.

Ukraine explores 4GW solar project within Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

The Ukrainian Government is exploring options to construct a 4GW solar power plant within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Once completed, the plant would be the largest solar project in the world.

On 26 April 1986, the Chernobyl disaster turned the surrounding 1,600mi² into an exclusion zone due to high levels of radiation. The plant's meltdown led to the deaths of an estimated 100,000 people. Besides the guards and workers who manage roadblocks and barriers, around 62 miles to the north of Kiev has been left barren and uninhabited for 30 years.

Black & Veatch to provide EPC servives for 925MW power plant in Pittsburgh, US

Black & Veatch has secured a contract from US-based Tenaska to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for a new 925MW natural gas combined cycle power plant.

Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station will feature advanced, high-efficiency turbine technology and a recycled water cooling process, which will enable the station to produce enough power to meet the energy needs of 925,000 homes.

The station is located near Pittsburgh and will supply electricity to customers in Pennsylvania and 12 other northeastern states operating in the market of regional transmission organisation PJM.

Duke Energy secures operating license for Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric project in US

Duke Energy has secured a 30-year operating license from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric project.

The license will be effective from 1 September and will enable Duke Energy to continue operating the Jocassee Pumped Storage Hydro Station, Keowee Hydro Station, and associated lakes.

The Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project starts at Lake Jocassee in North Carolina and South Carolina, and flows into Lake Keowee and the Army Corps of Engineers' Lake Hartwell project.

Proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction not essential, finds ECIU report

A report from The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has stated the UK can meet both its energy and climate change targets if the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is not constructed.

The report suggests alternative options, such as windfarms, connecting the UK grid with other countries, and managing demand would be cheaper, saving around £1bn annually.

Replacing all of Hinkley Point C's potential electricity output with additional offshore windfarms would reduce an average household bill  by £10-20 per year. In addition, replacing the nuclear plant's expected peak-time output with gas-fired units would save £16bn in infrastructure costs.

Orenda Energy to raise $25m to build windfarms in UK

A global manufacturer of wind turbines Orenda Energy Solutions plans to raise $25m through US investment banks to construct its own distributed windfarms across the UK.

Orenda Energy Solutions' CEO Gerry Lalonde said: “Positioning is the key for us. The announcement from the DECC consultation to change the FiT system was not warmly received by the small wind industry overall, but we view it as an opportunity for Orenda as a result of a willingness to adapt our own technology.

“We were able to modify the patent-pending control technology on our SKYE turbine to reduce the power output from a 51kW turbine to 49kW. This minor modification allows us to position our wind turbine at the top end of the most attractive band available in the UK for the current FiT system.

"Indeed, it is likely that Orenda Skye 49kw turbine may be the only model available at the top end of this lucrative FiT band.  We will know for certain once its MCS certification has been completed in late summer. Obtaining MCS certification is expensive and time consuming and acts as a significant barrier to entry, but equally, it acts as a statement of intent for wind turbine manufacturers to show commitment to adapting to these FiT changes.” 

ACCIONA Energía secures renewable energy award worth 506 GWh/year in Chile

ACCIONA Energía Chile has secured a tender for 506 GWh/year of electricity output for 20 years.

Claimed to be the biggest invited by Chile, the energy tender was open to both renewable and traditional technologies. ACCIONA will construct a 183MW windfarm to meet the output gained at the auction.

ACCIONA Energia Chile's general manager José Ignacio Escobar said: “The result of the tender once again highlights the fact that our renewables-based solutions are very competitive, even against conventional technologies.

“It reaffirms ACCIONA’s commitment to participate in Chile’s development based on sustainable economic, social and environmental parameters.”