Offshore wind projects are being proposed in an ever-increasing number of countries – among the latest to consider developing wind as a source of clean energy are Ireland, Canada, Jamaica and the Baltic states
WindEurope and the Estonian Wind Power Association have presented a declaration to the Government of Estonia, urging it to help replicate in the Baltic states what has already been done with offshore wind in the North Sea. The Baltic is a promising market for offshore wind energy in Europe with a favourable climate, strong and stable winds, low waves and shallow water.
According to the recently launched WindEurope analysis on wind energy scenarios for 2030, the Baltic Sea, where 1.5 GW of offshore wind is grid connected today, will represent the second-largest basin for offshore wind, with potentially 9 GW installed by 2030.
At the end of September 2017, WindEurope signed the Baltic Sea Declaration on Offshore Wind in Tallinn. The document, co-signed by wind energy associations from Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, asks governments to enhance their regional co-operation with a view to supporting offshore wind deployment in the region.
At the same time, WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson and the chairman of the board of the Estonian Wind Power Association, Martin Kruus, handed over a declaration to the permanent deputy secretary general for energy of the government of Estonia, Ando Leppiman. They urged the Estonian Government, which currently holds the EU Presidency, to build the political momentum that will help replicate in the Baltics what has already been done for the North Sea. The declaration covers several aspects of regional co-operation in the Baltics, from the need to set stable and clear legal frameworks to enhanced co-operation on spatial planning and grid connection. The final goal is to make full use of the renewable energy potential that the basin is offering to support the EU’s goals of decarbonisation, cost-effectiveness and security of energy supply.
A first step towards achieving these objectives is to ensure that governments’ draft clear national energy climate plans that spell out the volumes of offshore wind they want to deploy post-2020. The long-term outlook and visibility will help create confidence and an attractive market for project developers and investors. On 11 October 2017, WindEurope kicked off the Baltic Sea Task Force as part of its Offshore Working Group. The task force will work towards achieving the goals set in the declaration.
In Ireland, Parkwind, one of Europe’s leading offshore wind developers, has agreed an investment to become a partner in the Oriel windfarm, a 330 MW offshore wind project in the Irish Sea that would be Ireland’s first. The partners in the project note that Ireland has “vast” offshore wind energy potential, and they expect it to be developed in the coming decade.
Parkwind believes it can support the Irish Government in establishing an Irish offshore wind industry, while generating economic activity and employment over the entire lifetime of the project. Oriel project director Peter Caluwaerts said “We are confident we can play a vital role for the emerging Irish offshore wind industry. It is our ambition to finalise the construction of the Oriel windfarm in 2020, thus assisting Ireland in reaching its 2020 renewable energy targets. To achieve such an ambitious timeline, we will immediately invest in the development of the windfarm and set up a full-scale project team, consisting of our own experienced people from Parkwind on the one hand and dedicated Irish professionals on the other hand.”
Dong Energy and NaiKun Wind Energy Group have signed a letter of intent (LOI) that gives Dong Energy exclusive rights to negotiate a joint development agreement for the Haida Energy Field offshore wind project in British Columbia, Canada. The LOI also gives Dong Energy the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership with NaiKun Wind Energy Group. Located in Hecate Strait, between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert on the British Columbia mainland, the Haida Energy Field location has some of the strongest, most consistent winds in the world. If developed, the shallow water there would enable the project to use bottom-fixed structures. Dong Energy said the Haida Energy Field could significantly contribute to meeting British Columbia’s future energy needs.
“This agreement effectively connects the largest offshore wind developer in the world with a project that offers one of the strongest, most consistent wind resources in the world,” said Michael O’Connor, president and chief executive of NaiKun. “Offshore wind is a reliable home-grown energy source, and we are excited to explore the Canadian market,” said Thomas Brostrøm, president, Dong Energy Wind Power North America. “We see this opportunity as a first step to bringing offshore wind power to Canada in what could become a strategic partnership with the nation’s front-runner project.”
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) supporting the development of an offshore windfarm in Jamaica. The feasibility study for the project will evaluate the viability of installing an offshore windfarm that, if built, would be the first offshore windfarm in Jamaica and the greater Caribbean region. The USTDA said the project “offers potential export opportunities for a range of US equipment and services related to the design, development and operation of offshore wind power generation and transmission infrastructure”.
PCJ has selected Keystone Engineering (KEI), a Louisiana-based energy firm specialising in the engineering, design, procurement, project management and construction support for offshore wind and oil and gas platforms, to conduct the feasibility study. KEI was the foundation design engineer for the first offshore windfarm installed in the US, the 30 MW Block Island windfarm off the coast of Rhode Island.
“The Government of Jamaica has identified renewable energy development as a major pillar in its strategy for energy security,” said PCJ’s group general manager, Winston Watson. “This study will help the PCJ to get valuable data that can attract overseas investment for the development of our offshore wind resources.”
Tan Thuan project could be precursor to Vietnamese offshore wind
USTDA has awarded a grant to Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 2 (PECC2), a Vietnamese engineering company, to support development of a 100 MW nearshore windfarm in southern Vietnam.
PECC2 has selected DNV Kema Renewables in Seattle to carry out the project design and feasibility study. DNV Kema has significant expertise in renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, including direct experience with offshore wind in Vietnam.
PECC2 is developing the 100 MW Tan Thuan windfarm in two phases. The first phase will be 24 MW and the second phase 76 MW. The windfarm will be built in Ca Mau province in southern Vietnam, an area notable for having the highest average wind speed in the country.
European expertise being applied in Taiwan
DNV GL has signed a memorandum of understanding with several regional players in Taiwan and established a certification team in Taipei to support local and foreign companies planning projects there.
Taiwan is a rising offshore wind market, with its long-term visibility in terms of policy, financial support and development, and is Asia’s second-largest offshore wind market after China.
DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook report forecast that Asia will become the leading global offshore market, taking over from Europe, with 33% of global capacity to be installed in China alone by 2050.
Industry stakeholders who signed the memorandum of understanding include the CR Classification Society, Electronics Testing Center Taiwan, Metal Industries Research & Development Centre, Taiwan Electric Research and Testing Centre and Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.
September 2017 saw K2 Management sign a memorandum of understanding to provide due diligence expertise with the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research and CR Classification Society for offshore wind projects.