Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Roxtec Bags $1.7 Bln Rampion Wind Farm Deal

Photo: Roxtec

International cable seal manufacturer Roxtec has delivered a sealing solution to support a new £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) offshore wind farm in the English Channel. Roxtec designed and supplied all cable seals involved in the Rampion Offshore wind farm, located 13km off the coast of Sussex. In April, the topside for the Rampion substation departed Rosyth for the project site and the first of 116 wind turbines began to be installed. A process which will continue throughout 2017. The site has a target capacity of 400 MW and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Germany: 900 MW of New Offshore Wind in 2017

File Image: Credit CWind

Industry groups want higher long-term expansion targets; say latest auctions prove costs coming down. Germany connected 626 megawatts (MW) of newly built offshore wind capacity to power grids in the first six months of this year and expects to see total installations of 900 MW in the full year, five industry groups said in a joint statement on Thursday. The installed total is now 4,729 MW and if 900 MW were achieved, it would exceed the 818 MW added in 2016. The rate of expansion could mean the industry will beat government targets of 6,500 MW for 2020, they said.

Subsea Industries Introduces Ecolast Coating

Photo courtesy of Subsea Industries

Subsea Industries has launched Ecolast, the latest member in its range of coating systems. This product is UltraViolet (UV) resistant and preserves its color while at the same time offering the corrosion and abrasion protection. Regular coatings will quickly lose their original color when exposed to the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight, Subsea Industries said, noting that this is especially problematic when colorfastness is required, as  is the case for offshore wind farms, for example. The bottom part of the tower of wind turbines are all coated in the same regulated yellow.

Scottish $2.6 Bln Offshore Wind Project Green Lighted

© Joe Gough / Adobe Stock

The developer of a 2 billion pound ($2.6 billion) Scottish offshore wind power project said on Wednesday it had won a two-year court battle with a bird charity over plans for the site. Scottish ministers in 2014 approved plans to build the 450-megawatt Neart na Gaoithe wind farm, off Scotland’s east coast. The project had been held up, however, by a legal challenge from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which said it could cause the death of hundreds of native birds.

LiDAR Technology for Wind Measurement

Photo: LiDAR

Wind measurement experts gathered in London claimed that LiDARs have been replacing met masts to become the sole wind measurement tool used for offshore resource assessment and power curve verification purposes. These experts stated that LiDAR technology had over the years fully proven its ability to provide wind measurements as reliably as met masts. They also claimed that LiDARs are faster, easier and much cheaper to deploy, enabling significant development and operational cost reductions.

Wind, Solar Do Not Harm Power Grid Reliability -Draft US Study

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The growth of renewable power, including wind and solar, has not harmed the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid, according to a draft U.S. Department of Energy study, echoing the findings of grid operators across the country. The conclusion of the draft, dated July and viewed by Reuters, could ease fears in the renewable energy industry that the widely anticipated study would be used by President Donald Trump's administration to form policies supporting coal plants at the expense of wind and solar.

Saudis Curb U.S. Oil Shipments

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leelutung)

Saudi Arabia is trying to support oil prices by reducing its crude shipments to the United States in a bid to cut the amount of oil in commercial storage. U.S. crude imports from Saudi Arabia averaged less than 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on July 7, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia are running at the slowest rate since 2015, and the slowest for the time of year for over five years (http://tmsnrt.rs/2tM4mAO and http://tmsnrt.rs/2thOpza).

Virgina Offshore Wind Project Moves Forward

One of DONG Energy's turbines in the U.K. (Photo: DONG Energy)

An offshore wind project in the U.S. mid-Atlantic is moving forward, as project owner Dominion Energy Virginia has signed an agreement and strategic partnership with DONG Energy to build two 6-megawatt turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies will now begin refining agreements for engineering, procurement and construction. Dominion Energy remains the sole owner of the project. Engineering and development work on the newly named Coastal Virginia…

Vattenfall to Save $356 Mln a Year after Sweden Tax Phase Out

Swedish state-owned power utility Vattenfall will save about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($356 million) a year after the country's nuclear tax has been phased out and will use the savings to extend the life of its reactors, its CEO told Reuters. On July 1, in a long expected move, Sweden started a two-year phasing out of its tax on nuclear power production, which many nuclear energy producers, including Vattenfall , said had created losses and halted investments. "The tax reduction will be 3 billion crowns per year ...

Buffett Bets Big on Energy with $9 Bln Oncor Buy

Warren Buffett's move to spend $9 billion on his largest energy sector acquisition reflects his long-standing drive to diversify his Berkshire Hathaway Inc and deepens his commitment to electricity as a means to boost profit. Berkshire said on Friday that its Berkshire Hathaway Energy unit will buy a reorganized Energy Future Holdings Corp to get access to Oncor Electric Delivery Co, Texas' largest electricity transmission company. The all-cash purchase reflects a bet by Buffett…

French Wind Power Sector to Consolidate Further -EDF

France's wind power generation sector will consolidate further, the head EDF's renewables unit Antoine Cahuzac said on Wednesday as the company moves to complete the takeover of wind energy developer Futuren . The renewables subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility has acquired 67.2 percent of Futuren, and will on Thursday launch a public offer for the remaining shares in a deal worth 320 million euros ($363 million). "The consolidation will not end here," Cahuzac, Chief Executive of EDF Energies Nouvelles, told reporters.

Google to Start Getting Norwegian Wind Power by September

© vicnick08 / Adobe Stock

Alphabet Inc's Google unit expects to receive its first wind power from Norway by early September, the company told Reuters on Wednesday. Tellenes wind farm, a 50-turbine strong wind farm of 160-megawatt (MW) capacity that is currently under development, will become Norway's largest wind farm and Google's biggest in Europe. "We'll purchase power as soon as the wind farm becomes fully operational, which we expect will take place in early September 2017," a Google spokesman told Reuters. Google last year signed a 12-year deal to buy 100 percent of the plant's output.

Indian Renewable Firms Plan $2.5 Bln in Offshore Dollar Bond Issues

© Sergiy Serdyuk / Adobe Stock

Four Indian renewable power producers are planning to raise up to $2.5 billion via dollar bonds offshore because of caution among domestic lenders, banking sources said. In addition to the four solar and wind power firms, a fifth company that invests in renewable projects, Adani Group, has raised $250 million via a loan but has yet to publicly announce the borrowing, the sources told Reuters. A source working with one of the bond issues said foreign borrowing was attractive because state banks were reluctant to lend due to existing bad loans to the power sector…

DONG, CWind Extend Crew Transfer Vessel Contract

Photo: CWind

CWind, a provider of services to the offshore wind industry, informs that DONG Energy, one of the key energy groups in Northern Europe, has granted CWind a two-year extension to its existing three-year Crew Transfer Vessel contract at the West of Duddon Sands Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea. CWind, the offshore power focused business of Global Marine Group (GMG), will provide vessels for Operations & Maintenance (O&M) to the 108-turbine West of Duddon Sands site, including a summer campaign to ensure the site remains operating at peak performance throughout the busier summer months.

Kenya: Major Wind Power Line to Be Ready in 3 Months

A power line linking a 310 megawatt (MW) wind power plant to Kenya's national grid, delayed by landowners' compensation demands among other issues, is expected to be ready in the next three months, the energy minister said on Thursday. Kenya relies heavily on geothermal and hydro power for its electricity, providing the bulk of the country's total 2,341 MW output. Wind power provides about 25 MW. The construction of the 266-mile (428-km), 400-kilovolt power line from the Lake Turkana Wind Power project…

Europe to be Natural Gas Kingmaker

File Image: CREDIT MISC

It's probably not quite here yet, but the trend is unmistakeable; the world is moving to a globally-linked natural gas market and the rise of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the key driver. Much of the increase in LNG capacity is because of the rapid boost to plants in Australia and the United States, as both countries take advantage of abundant local reserves of natural gas to muscle in on a market that until recently had been dominated by a few established producers and buyers.

ESS Completes Beatrice Wind Farm Clearance

Photo: ESS

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has completed a 14-day seabed clearance project on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd project, located approximately 13km off the Caithness coast. ESS deployed its SCAR2 Seabed System from the Siem Ruby vessel on behalf of client Siem Offshore Contractors. Several hundred boulders were removed over a 15km route in water depths of between 38-60 metres, over terrain which was predominantly sand and gravel overlying stiff clay. Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm will consist of 84 turbines and is expected to power approximately 450,000 homes on completion in 2019.

'Bring On More Renewables,' US Regulator Says

© Jonathan Weiss / Adobe Stock

Wind and solar power does not make the U.S. electricity grid less stable, an outgoing federal regulator said on Tuesday, as the Trump administration readies a study that will examine whether renewable energy has had a harmful effect. Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a conference that renewables have different attributes than base load power, which includes coal and nuclear energy, and that those difference need to be overcome.

Wind Power's Big Bet: Colossal Turbines

File photo: DONG Energy

Wind farm operators are betting on a new generation of colossal turbines, which will dwarf many skyscrapers, as they seek to remain profitable after European countries phase out subsidies that have defined the green industry since the 1990s. The world's three leading offshore wind operators - DONG Energy, EnBW and Vattenfall - all told Reuters they were looking to these megaturbines to help adapt to the upcoming reality with dwindling government handouts. According to interviews with turbine makers and engineers…

Hurricane Dora Forms Off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Image: U.S. National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Dora formed off the western coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean on Monday, but it was expected to slow and remain offshore, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Dora, the first hurricane to form in the Pacific so far this year, was carrying maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) as it whirled about 170 miles (275 km) south-southwest of the port of Manzanillo, the center said. Dora was slowing and was likely to see some strengthening on Monday before weakening on Tuesday, the NHC said.

Coal Isn't Dead (Yet): Russell

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

Here's a question for the anti-coal lobby. If coal is dying, how come there is an increasingly heated bidding war going on for Rio Tinto's coal mines in Australia? Here's another question, this time for the pro-coal lobby. If coal still has a viable long-term future as an energy source, how come the world's biggest planned new mine is now hostage to whether the Australian government decides to loan it money? Reconciling these two questions may seem like a challenge but both…

DNV GL, Goldwind in Wind Power Pact

Photo: DNV GL

Goldwind International and DNV GL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for optimizing offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL to be preferred independent third-party advisor for performance optimization of offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body,  said in a statement that it has signed MoU with Goldwind International during the Norway-China Partnership for Low Carbon Energy Transition seminar organized by the Beijing Energy Club.

Rapid Nuclear Decommissioning Threatens Climate Targets, says IEA

Decommissioning nuclear plants in Europe and North America from 2020 threatens global plans to cut carbon emissions unless governments build new nuclear plants or expand the use of renewables, a top International Energy Agency official said. Nuclear is now the largest low-carbon power source in Europe and the United States, about three times bigger than wind and solar combined, according to IEA data. But most reactors were built in the 1970s and early 80s, and will reach the end of their life around 2020.

Tropical Storm Cindy Rolls in on US Gulf Coast

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Cindy is likely to hit the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Louisiana border on Wednesday night, threatening to bring flash floods from Texas to Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. Cindy was located about 165 miles (265 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana, early on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 km) per hour, the NHC said. The storm was moving northwest at nearly 8 miles (13 km) per hour, and forecasters said they expected this motion to continue until it hits the coast.

Oil Traders Brace for US Gulf Coast Storm

Oil traders from Texas to Louisiana braced on Tuesday for supply disruptions as Tropical Storm Cindy, formed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, threatened to hit refining and production centers with wind and rain later this week. Cindy was located about 265 miles (430 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles (75 km) per hour. It is expected to approach the coast of southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or Wednesday night, and move inland over western Louisiana and eastern Texas on Thursday, the NHC said.

Wind, Solar Energy No Threat to Grid: Industry Study

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

With the Trump administration expected to publish an analysis that could undermine the U.S. wind and solar industries, two renewable energy lobbying groups on Tuesday released their own study saying new energy sources pose no threat to the country's power grid. Wind and solar advocates have said the government study's outcome appeared to be pre-determined to favor fossil fuel industries. The new report, commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association and Advanced Energy Economy, says cheap natural gas is behind most of the decline in the numbers of U.S.

Innovators Toil to Revive Canada Oil Sands

In the boreal forests and on the remote prairies of Alberta, a handful of firms are running pilot projects they hope will end a two-decade drought in innovation and stem the exodus of top global energy firms from Canada's oil sands. They are searching for a breakthrough that will cut the cost of pumping the tar-like oil from the country's vast underground bitumen reservoirs and better compete with the booming shale industry in the United States. If they fail, a bigger chunk of the world's third-largest oil reserves will stay in the ground.

Statkraft to Sell its Stakes in Two UK Wind Farms

Norway's power firm Statkraft will launch the sale of its entire stakes in two wind farms offshore Britain, Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon, in coming weeks, a spokesman for the company said on Tuesday. The state-owned company aims to conclude the sale of its 40 percent and 30 percent stakes in the Statoil-operated wind farms before the end of 2017, and potentially to close in the beginning of 2018, he added.   (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis)

BV Approvals Help Propel Floating Offshore Wind Sector

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines © DCNS Energies - GE

Bureau Veritas has issued a Preliminary Design Approval for a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) foundation designed by DCNS Energies. The floating foundation is based on a semi-submersible floater, designed to be competitive, adapted to mass production, easily towable, connectable and dis-connectable, and adaptable to site conditions and local industrial environments. This approval was provided as part of the General Electric (ex-Alstom) and DCNS Energies Sea Reed project, a FOWT product development initiative supported by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

U.S. Shale Exposed to Falling Prices as Hedges Expire

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

Cash-strapped U.S. shale firms scaled back their hedging programs in the first quarter, leaving them more vulnerable to tumbling spot market prices just after OPEC reached a landmark deal to curb global supply. The pullback in hedging was driven by rising service costs and expectations that prices would continue to rally after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended those cuts in May, analysts said. However, rising U.S. production has stymied OPEC's efforts to rebalance markets.

Statoil Eyes Japan, US for Floating Wind Projects

Norwegian oil company Statoil is targeting Japan and the U.S. states of California and Hawaii to expand its floating offshore wind turbine business, the head of its New Energy Solutions business told Reuters. Statoil will later this year open the world's first floating wind turbine park off the coast of Scotland, a technology that allows wind energy to be harnessed further out at sea where wind speeds are typically higher. Statoil's floating wind turbines are anchored in place…

Sub-Saharan Africa's Biggest Wind Farm Delayed

The biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa is ready for launch but will remain idle until next year as Kenya's government has not yet installed the transmission lines needed to get the clean power to customers, the provider of the turbines said. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems installed 365 turbines at Lake Turkana in the hot desert north of the east African country in March, completing construction in less than a year and two months ahead of schedule. The project…

Nations, Industry Pledge EU Offshore Wind Expansion

© philipbird123  / Adobe Stock

Germany, Denmark and Belgium joined with 25 companies on Tuesday to back a pledge to increase Europe's offshore wind capacity almost fivefold in the next decade. The joint declaration, signed by energy ministers for the three countries and firms including Dong Energy and Siemens Gamesa, said the countries and companies would work together to deliver 60 gigawatts (GW), or at least 4 GW a year of offshore wind capacity in Europe in the 2020s. "With this Joint Statement, leading…

Norway Approves Construction of 80 MW Wind Farm

Norway has approved an application to construct a new wind farm with the capacity to produce 80 megawatts (MW) of electricity on the coast of western Norway, the oil and energy ministry said on Tuesday. The application, which was initially rejected in December 2015 on environmental concerns, received approval after an appeal was lodged, the ministry said in a statement. Norway's total installed wind power production capacity in 2016 was 838 MW, data from the European Wind Energy Association showed.     (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos)

F2i buys Seven Wind Farms in Green Drive

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

F2i, the largest infrastructure fund operating in Italy, said on Tuesday it will strengthen its position in green energy by buying seven wind farms in the south of the country. The fund, which is around 14 percent owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said it had bought the wind plants on the island of Sicily and in Calabria from Italy's Veronagest. It did not disclose the price for the 282 megawatt wind power portfolio, but in a joint statement with Veronagest it said the deal is expected to be wrapped up by the end of June.

Germany Won't Raise Offshore Wind Target until Grid Complete

File Image (Siemens)

Germany does not intend to raise its 2030 target for offshore wind capacity until the country's north-south grid expansion has been completed, Germany's State Secretary for Energy said on Tuesday.   "As long as we have not expanded the grid we will not increase our target for 2030," Rainer Baake told reporters at an industry conference in London.   Reporting by Karolin Schaps and Susanna Twidale

Global Marine Group Keeping Busy in 2017

(Photo: Global Marine Group)

Offshore engineering firm the Global Marine Group (GMG) reported a busy first five months of 2017 with a strong outlook for the rest of the year. The company said all key assets from the GMG fleet are currently mobilized, either supporting maintenance zone agreements around the world, or on installation, maintenance or repair contracts. “As we head into the summer months, we are extremely pleased about our robust activity level, which we feel is a reflection of our high performance standards…

New Fresh Water System for Offshore Wind Park

Photo courtesy of Hatenboer-Water

Dutch water treatment specialist Hatenboer-Water has completed delivery of a customized fresh water system for a leading construction company of offshore wind turbine platforms. The project included the design and engineering work, construction and installation of a complete water treatment package. With this commission, Hatenboer-Water installed its first water treatment system in the unmanned platforms market. Hatenboer-Waters’ fresh water system distributes water on site using a highly efficient two-step disinfection process from its tank to end users or industrial application.

Boosting Renewable Energy Requires Gas Too -ConEd

Shifting more U.S. energy production to renewable sources such as wind and solar power is doable but will require greater use of natural gas and overcoming opposition to building pipelines, a senior executive of a U.S. utility said on Thursday. Consolidated Edison Inc no longer defaults to the traditional utility solution of building more infrastructure to meet growing demand for power, said Craig Ivey, president of the company unit serving New York City and nearby suburbs.

French Installed Wind Capacity Soared in Q1

© PlanetEarthPictures / Adobe Stock

France installed 330 megawatt (MW) of renewable wind power capacity in the first quarter of 2017, the biggest increase in any first quarter, taking total French wind power capacity to over 12 gigawatts (GW), the Ecology Ministry said in a report. The increase in capacity was boosted by new projects which were connected to the grid during the quarter, boosting French electricity output from wind turbines to about 6.9 terawatt-hour (TWh) in the quarter, or about 4.8 percent of French demand.

Coking Coal Price Talks Stall

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

Talks between Australian miners and Japanese steelmakers over coking coal supplies have stalled as the Japanese companies are pushing to move to more flexible arrangements from the current quarterly fixed-price terms. The Japanese are backed by BHP, the world's biggest producer of coking coal, a key steelmaking ingredient. However, other miners are against upending the 45-year-old fixed price settlement mechanism. Any changes could potentially further roil a market hit by wild swings recently.

Mech-Tool Delivers for Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Contract

Middlesbrough Facility (Photo: Mech-Tool Engineering)

A Teesside based product manufacturer and global supplier of fire, blast and radiant heat protection systems has delivered a contract for Statoil’s £1.5 billion ($1.9bln) Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm project. Located 20 miles off the coast of the seaside town of Cromer, Mech-Tool Engineering Ltd was commissioned to design, manufacture and supply its fire and blast walls, which will play a vital role in safely harnessing offshore wind to power more than 410,000 homes in the U.K.

DONG to Sell O&G Business to Ineos for $1.3 Bln

File photo: DONG Energy

Danish utility and offshore wind farm developer DONG Energy has agreed to sell its oil and gas business to petrochemicals firm Ineos for $1.3 billion, it said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of North Sea deals. The sale is a blow to shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk , which had sought to merge its oil and gas business with DONG into a company worth more than $10 billion as part of a major restructuring. Talks between the two stalled late last year over price, sources told Reuters in December…

Shell Shareholders Reject Emissions Target Proposal

Royal Dutch Shell shareholders on Tuesday widely rejected a proposal by an environmental group calling for the oil company to set and publish annual targets to reduce carbon emissions. The vote is a setback for climate activists who are increasing pressure on global oil companies, including U.S. firms Exxon Mobil and Chevron, to become more ambitious in helping combat climate change. As many as 94 percent of Shell shareholders who cast a vote decided against the resolution, according to preliminary results displayed during the company's annual general meeting (AGM) in The Hague.

EUROPE POWER: Spot slides on increased wind

European spot electricity prices for day-ahead delivery fell on Monday, pressured by increased wind power supply, while the June and July contracts gained on a warm and dry weather forecast. * The German baseload spot power price for Tuesday delivery stood at 33.70 euros ($37.85) per megawatt-hour (MWh), down 1.80 euros from the price paid on Friday for Monday delivery. * The French contract for Tuesday delivery clawed back earlier losses and was down 1.75 euros at 34.25 euros/MWh.

New Subsea Consultancy: 1CS1

Cherry Paton, Innovation Park Estate Manager and 1CSI’s founders, Aleksandra Tomaszek, Chief Operating Officer and Matthew Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer (Photo: 1CS1)

Recently established Aberdeen-based subsea integrity consultancy, 1CSI (1 Consulting Subsea Integrity) has marked the launch of its business with a move into premises at the James Gregory Center in the Aberdeen Innovation Park, Bridge of Don. The company was established in April by Matthew Kennedy and Aleksandra Tomaszek and offers solutions to global subsea challenges. This, includes, but is not limited to, fit-for-purpose assessments of deep water flexible risers through the inspection of concrete coated subsea pipelines…

DNV GL Initiative to Improve Offshore Site Assessments

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL invites industry partners to start a Joint Industry Project (JIP) for improving the collection and assessment of site conditions data for offshore wind farms. Aiming to increase the efficiency of collecting site conditions, the new JIP will work with stakeholders from across the wind industry. The knowledge generated from the JIP is planned to be ultimately incorporated in a DNV GL recommended practice. The design of an offshore wind farm is dependent on the quality of the calculated site conditions used to derive the design parameters.

Eoltech Wins Repeat Contracts

Photo: Eoltech

Wind energy consulting firm Eoltech announced that it won contracts from major French customers to deploy IREC-Index. With this advanced multi-source wind energy index, Eoltech will aim to refine the monitoring of 24 wind farms in France, representing a total output of 500MW. IREC-Index will enable Eoltech’s clients to check the consistency of their fleet’s output against the available wind resource to detect potential turbine performance discrepancies. The specificity of…

Copelouzos Teams Up with Shenhua in Green Energy

Greek energy group Copelouzos signed a deal with China's Shenhua Group to cooperate in green energy and upgrade power units in Greece and other countries, Copelouzos said on Friday. The deal involves total investment of 3 billion euros, it said, without providing further details. Copelouzos has built a number of energy projects in Greece, including wind parks and small hydroelectric plants.   (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

Wind Consortium Weighs in on MD Offshore Developments

File Image: a view of offshore wind (CREDIT: Sparrow Group)

The Maryland Public Service Commission Finances Two Offshore Wind Projects. The Business Network For Offshore Wind commends the Maryland Public Service Commission for awarding financing for two offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Commission’s (MD PSC) approval and financing of US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC’s combined 368 MW projects solidify offshore wind as a US industry. Maryland has more than 800 businesses working in and around Baltimore’s ports many of which have potential to provide support for scaling the U.S. offshore wind industry.

Fire Protection for Offshore Comms Hub

Photo courtesy of SeaRoc Group

A monitoring and voice and data communication solution launched by SeaRoc Group links land-based operations to distant offshore petroleum platforms and wind farms via satellite, fiber and other data services. In order to protect the sensitive and valuable electronics inside these unmanned SeaHubs, an engineered fire detection and suppression system from Sea-Fire Europe was chosen. The mobile SeaHub system can be installed aboard a vessel, platform or even on a remote land-based location, allowing  drill rigs and wind farms to be installed farther offshore than was possible in the past.

ESCO Acquires Renewable NRG Systems

Jan Blomstrann (now former owner of NRG Systems) and Vic Richey, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & President of ESCO Technologies (Photo: ESCO)

ESCO Technologies Inc. announced it has acquired NRG Systems, Inc., doing business as Renewable NRG Systems, located in Hinesburg, Vermont. NRG, founded in 1982, is a designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the renewable energy industry, primarily wind. NRG serves electric utilities, wind turbine manufacturers, renewable energy developers, research institutes, and government agencies in more than 150 countries. The business, which will join Doble Engineering as part of ESCO’s Utilities Solutions Group (USG) operating segment…

EIA Release Short-Term Energy Outlook

© iQoncept / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook. • North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in April, $1/b higher than the March average and the fifth consecutive month that Brent crude oil spot prices averaged between $50/b and $55/b. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $53/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.

Energy Island: Europeans Mull North Sea Hub

Image: TenneT

A plan set in motion by three European transmission system operators (TSO) aims to develop mammoth offshore wind farm infrastructure in the North Sea supported by at least one manmade island. First unveiled in June 2016, plans for the North Sea Wind Power Hub project will now press ahead to develop a large offshore renewable European electricity system following the signing of a trilateral agreement by TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet.dk (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) in Brussels on March 23, 2017.

Goldman Sachs to Sell 2.1% of DONG Energy

Photo: Dong Energy

Goldman Sachs has launched an accelerated bookbuilt offering to institutional investors of 8.8 million existing shares in Danish utility and offshore wind farm developer Dong Energy, the U.S investment bank said on Monday. The shares are equivalent to 2.1 percent of the existing shares in Dong Energy and are owned by New Energy Investment, which is indirectly owned by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs and Danske Bank are acting as joint global coordinators and reserve the right to close the books at any time. Dong will not receive any proceeds from the transaction.

Hempel: New Coatings for Offshore Structures

Photo: Hempel

Hempel has launched two new advanced coatings specifically developed to protect the vulnerable “splash zone” areas of offshore structures. The “splash zone” is the area of an offshore asset (oil & gas platform or wind turbine, for example) that is just above the waterline and so suffers from the dual impact of atmospheric and immersion-type corrosion; as well as physical damage such as abrasion and impact, especially in areas around boat landings. Launched in Europe today…

CFD Simulation of a Fully Featured Offshore Platform Model

(Photo: Hydrocean)

CFD simulations of offshore oil and gas platforms are used to predict the maximum wind loads acting on the structure of the platform topsides (the upper half of the platform, above sea level and outside the splash zone, including the oil production plant, the accommodation block and any drilling equipment). The wind loads are used as waves and current loads to design the mooring of the structure, and can be significant in specific ocean areas. Because platform topside geometries were traditionally considered too complex to mesh in high detail…

Vestas Beats Profit Expectations, Maintains Guidance

File Image: CREDIT Blount Boats

Profit boosted by U.S. sales and cost control; Shares up 3.7 pct. The world's biggest wind turbine maker Vestas posted better than expected first-quarter operating profit on Friday, citing higher sales and tight cost control while sticking to its full-year revenue and profit margin guidance. Deliveries were up nearly 30 percent year on year in the first quarter, with Chief Executive Anders Runevad pointing to a U.S. tax credit scheme that boosted orders last December. In what is normally a weak quarter for the Danish company…

DONG Energy Settles Platform Dispute

DONG Energy said it has reached a settlement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Technip over who bears responsibility for construction errors concerning an offshore platform for the idled Hejre field. The settlement clears a major hurdle for the Danish company's plans to divest its oil and gas unit to focus on its growing business of developing offshore wind farms. DONG said in a statement that the agreement will reduce the 2.5 billion Danish crowns ($367 million) of provisions it made in relation to the Hejre field ahead of its listing…

Changing the Landscape of LNG Production

PFLNG Satu (Photo: © TechnipFMC plc.)

Successful completion of the Petronas Floating LNG facility (PFLNG) Satu is a milestone for the oil and gas industry and for the Malaysian energy giant. Designed by consortium leader TechnipFMC and fabricated at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in South Korea, PFLNG Satu achieved the first-ever production of LNG offshore in December 2016. The 365-meter by 60-meter facility processes, produces and offloads LNG in situ, directly above natural gas reservoirs.