The renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power is deploying the North Sea’s first commercial floating LiDAR wind measurement device to support the proposed 450MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore windfarm.
Dutch technology provider, FLiDAR will launch its floating LiDAR device at the site 16km off the coast of Fife early in 2014.
The state-of-the-art measuring equipment includes a Leosphere LiDAR adapted to be mounted on a standard marine buoy. It’s powered by its own renewable energy system comprising solar photovoltaic and wind power technology.
David Sweenie, offshore manager Scotland, Mainstream Renewable Power, said: “This announcement underpins our commitment to innovation and to the adoption of the technologies that have the potential to drive down the cost of offshore wind.”
Prior to its launch, the floating LiDAR will also be the first device to be validated at Narec’s newly installed Offshore Anemometry and Research Platform located off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland.
The prototype was validated earlier this year in the Irish Sea as part of the UK’s Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator programme, which served to add to for the commercial market.
Neart Na Gaoithe is seen as a flagship project for offshore renewables in Scotland and is a key project in Mainstream’s global portfolio.
The project received planning consent for the onshore works connected to the windfarm in June 2013 and a decision on the offshore elements is expected by the end of 2013.
FLiDAR is a joint venture between renewable energy consultancy 3E and Offshore & Wind Assistance, a subsidiary of marine contractor Geosea.
Fife College offers training for the offshore wind industry
The Scottish Minister for Energy, Tourism and Enterprise, Fergus Ewing MSP, yesterday (8th Oct) officially launched the AREVA Wind sponsored Pre-Apprenticeship programme for wind turbine technician training in partnership with Fife College. This programme is specifically designed to provide the training and skills required for the offshore wind industry and serves as a precursor for further training opportunities to become AREVA Turbine Technicians.
The course includes classroom and workshop education in key technical skills so that students can potentially continue their training at the AREVA manufacturing facility in Bremerhaven, Germany.
As part of the announcement, Minister Ewing met with the 16 students who have been selected to participate in this opening year of the programme.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting continued growth in Scotland’s energy sector and to allowing our young people to benefit from the tremendous opportunities that this sector presents now and in the future.
“AREVA’s engagement in this programme shows their commitment to invest in making young people their business and allowing them the opportunity to fulfil their potential with specifically designed training required to support the UK offshore wind industry.”
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, which has been working closely with AREVA on its proposed plans to locate its UK turbine manufacturing site in Scotland, added:
“This programme will not only help develop individuals with the right knowledge and skills to work in this exciting industry, but also increase Scotland’s growing reputation on the global stage as a leading location in the development of the offshore wind sector.”
Julian Brown, UK Country Director for AREVA Wind commented, “The AREVA Wind Pre-apprenticeship program reinforces our commitment to Scotland as an industrial base for our activities and will prepare these students for opportunities in the future offshore wind market in the United Kingdom.”
AREVA supplies advanced technology solutions for power generation with less carbon. Its expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement.
Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and operating services. The group is actively developing its activities in renewable energies – wind, bioenergy, solar and energy storage – to become a European leader in this sector.
With these two major offers, AREVA’s 47,000 employees are helping to supply ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people.
About Fife College
Situated in the lowlands of Scotland, Fife’s position between the Edinburgh and Tayside regions makes it ideally placed for being a front runner as an enterprising area.
With the Scottish Government making clear its intention to increase sustainable economic growth, future economic success will depend on the ability to develop a culture in Fife that both encourages and values enterprise.
Fife has a lot of opportunities and strengths on which to build including the broad range of initiatives aimed at supporting enterprise across the region. From educational initiatives in schools, colleges and the university, to general business start-up support, key sector networks and infrastructure investments in incubation facilities, enterprise support is spread across a broad range of partners both in the private and public sectors.
Manufacturing and engineering remains a specialist core strength in Fife due to its long experience in the sectors. Technology innovation is driving the pace of change within the industry and Fife is at the heart of it.
The expertise in Fife for manufacturing and engineering is very much a key asset. The uses and end products have changed – but there is still a need for precision engineering and manufacturing knowledge. One such area of advancement is within the area of wind energy with many wind turbines, energy parks and unique specialist qualifications being available and leading the way in this emerging market.
Scotland’s offshore wind ambitions took a leap forward last week after plans for two major offshore wind farm developments moved closer to fruition.
Proposals to develop up to 277 turbines off the Caithness Coast in the Moray Firth and a 450MW farm off Fife cleared key planning hurdles this week when Highland councillors raised no objection to the Caithness proposal, which would see hundreds of wind turbines created as part of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Repsol Nuevas Energias UK.
If approved, construction of the farm could start as soon as 2015 and the first electricity from the turbines (some of which would stand at 187m in height) exported from site to shore by 2018.
Elsewhere, East Lothian’s planning committee rubber-stamped developer Mainstream Renewable Power’s plan to start onshore cable works to connect the proposed 450MW Neart na Gaoithe development off the coast of Fife to the National Grid.
The work is expected to start next year with the site complete by 2016 and the wind farm to be fully operational by 2017. the Neart na Gaoithe project is expected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 325,000 homes.
David Sweenie, offshore manager Scotland for Mainstream Renewable Power, said the wind farm project was of “major significance” for Scotland and will make a strong contribution towards the country achieving its 2020 renewable energy targets (to meet electricity demand from 100 per cent renewable sources).
Commenting on both developments, Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for trade body Scottish Renewables, said Scotland has “huge potential” for offshore wind development.
“Already, up to 10GW of offshore wind have been earmarked for development in Scottish waters, enough to power some 6.5 million homes, and it’s fantastic to see the early sites taking real strides forward.”
A contract signed yesterday will see Scottish renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy provide expertise for the first offshore wind farm in the Guangdong province, China.
The contract, which will be delivered over two years, will see SgurrEnergy, part of Wood Group, work with the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI) – one of China’s leading design institutions – on its landmark Zhuhai offshore wind farm project.
Along with offshore experts Wood Group Kenny, the company will advise on areas such as wind farm layout, site selection and design and ocean hydrometeorology. They’ll also carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Minister for External Affairs, is currently in China strengthening Scotland’s trade links. He has congratulated SgurrEnergy and highlighted its success as an example of how Scottish companies are providing both know-how and technology to support the growing Chinese renewables industry.
Speaking from the Chinese capital, Mr Yousaf said: “SgurrEnergy already has a very strong track record of providing renewables expertise, knowledge and technology to China as it works towards meeting its green energy targets, and this announcement is great news for both countries.”
“It is another positive step forward in strengthening Sino-Scottish links and confirming Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in the development of renewable energy.”
Building on an impressive track record
This latest project builds on SgurrEnergy’s strong track record of consulting on offshore wind development in China. The company was involved in the Jiangsu offshore wind farm project and has worked alongside the main Chinese utility providers – via the World Bank’s China Renewable Energy Scale-up Programme and EU Aid China.
Cathryn Chu from SgurrEnergy’s Beijing office said, “SgurrEnergy has been involved in the Chinese offshore wind industry since 2007. Our knowledge and experience gained in China, together with our advanced technical capability in offshore wind from Europe, has been key in the success of this partnership with GEDI.
We are excited to be involved in the Chinese offshore wind sector in Guangdong, after having previously worked in Shandong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.”
Dr. Wang Hailong from GEDI said, “GEDI is proud to be involved in this landmark project. The support of SgurrEnergy and Wood Group Kenny, with their extensive experience in offshore wind, combined with our local experience in typhoon and soft seabed issues, is helping us address the engineering and technical challenges involved in offshore wind development in the region.”
“Scotland has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world”
Anne MacColl, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, is also in Beijing promoting Scotland’s trade and investment agenda.
She said: “Scotland has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, which, coupled with our strengths in innovation and the engineering excellence developed over the past 40 years since North Sea oil and gas discoveries, have helped make us an internationally competitive global energy player.”
“This latest success by SgurrEnergy demonstrates the reputation of the Scottish renewables sector as a collaborative knowledge partner for technology and engineering in China.”
Study commissioned by Scottish Enterprise
In support of the Scottish Government’s policy of developing offshore renewable energy capacity in Scotland while providing a sustainable future for the Scottish fishing community, Scottish Enterprise has commissioned a study on behalf of the Scottish Government to investigate the potential opportunities for the use of the Scottish Fishing fleet to support the offshore wind industry in Scotland.
1) A Demand Study:
Where the potential demands from the offshore wind developers for vessels to service the offshore wind sector will be determined. Specifically demand for vessels in the following roles will be considered:
a. Geotechnical survey
b. Hydrographical survey
c. Geophysical survey
d. Benthic survey
e. Bird, fish, marine mammal survey
f. Marine traffic survey
g. Acoustic and environmental monitoring/survey
h. Cable route and depth of cover survey
i. Marine fouling removal and cleaning
j. Buoy relocation and servicing
k. Guard zone support
l. Accommodation support
m. ROV/AUV support
n. Air dive support
o. Crew transfer/marine access
2) A Supply Study
Which will investigate the potential vessel availability, use and conversion options for the Scottish fishing fleet, should the owners express interest, and their vessels’ have the potential capability to support the offshore wind industry in the above roles.
3) A Shortfall Study:
An analysis of the differences between the demand for vessels, the ability for vessels from the fishing vessel fleet to support some of that demand, and where the shortfall may be sourced from within the commercial workboat or ship fleet.
4) A role, retrofit and Conversion Study:
Analysis and categorisation of the types of retrofit and conversion options which may be required of a fishing vessel to fulfil a role in the offshore wind industry, together with an assessment of indicative costs.
5) Identification of Operational Locations:
A high level evaluation of the location, facilities and constraints of potential operational locations from which vessels may be deployed to support the different lifecycle phases of an offshore wind farm.
Initial engagement with industry stakeholders is via a targeted perception survey which can be accessed and completed HERE.