Powersystems Wind Energy NewsWatch Update April 2021

Powersystems Wind Energy NewsWatch Update April 2021

The Powersystems Renewables NewsWatch provides a roundup of the latest headlines relating to Wind Energy

With more investments in the efficiency, scale of wind and a strong project pipeline, the wind energy sector is a key enabler for the UK economy to achieve net zero by 2050.

Alongside contributions from other technologies, meeting this target will require a tenfold increase in offshore wind generating capacity to about 100 GW, which would be one of the biggest infrastructure projects the country has ever undertaken.

Wind energy relies on wind turbines to generate electricity. As the blades turn, they rotate a generator and a shaft that converts the energy into electricity. The UK is one of the best places in the world for wind-powered energy. The National Grid ESO explains electricity and wind power.

New records for green electricity

The news that Britain’s National Grid set a new record for green electricity on Easter Monday and again on the May bank holiday is a further sign that we are heading in the right direction – not just in the fight against climate change but also in terms of modernising our economy.

Offshore and onshore wind turbines generated a new high of 17.6 gigawatts of power on Monday afternoon, enough to power 3.5 million kettles, according to the Guardian. This represents nearly half (48.5%) of the electricity grid in England, Scotland and Wales, according to data from operator National Grid ESO, and beats the previous record of 17.5 GW set on 13 February 2021.

The average UK household requires around 3700 kWh of electricity per year and 12,000 kWh of gas. To help supply this, there are 8,600 onshore wind turbines and 3,000 offshore wind turbines in the UK.

The UK offshore wind sector generated enough green electricity for 39% /10.8 million of UK homes (40.7 TWh) in 2020, up from 30% (32TWh) in 2019.

Key insights into UK offshore wind sector

Aprils Powersystems NewsWatch sees The Crown Estate publish its ninth Offshore Wind Operational Report, which provides in-depth insight into the progress of the UK’s offshore wind sector. It paints a picture of a mature, robust and healthy market which is progressing at pace to deliver a strong and sustainable pipeline in support of the nation’s net zero ambitions.

In less than 20 years on from the first offshore wind farm being installed, the UK remains number one in the world for offshore wind installed capacity, with 14 GW of total capacity.

The  report also advises that the most significant change in 2020 was the shift in project status, with three large projects moving into the under-construction phase. Project capacity under construction increased by over 60% from 4.4GW to 7.2GW due to a final investment decision (FID) being reached on Dogger Bank A and B projects. This marked the start of construction on what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, a title currently held by Hornsea 1, which is located off the east coast of England and became the largest offshore wind farm in the world, capable of supplying energy needs of one million UK homes. The wind farm has a planned total capacity of up to 6 GW.  Dogger Bank is also furthest from shore at 130km off the North East English coast. The 1,050 MW Seagreen project also achieved FID in June and construction has started onshore for what is expected to be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm. Recently RWE has committed to building its biggest ever wind farm off the UK coast after making a final investment decision on a £3bn 1.4-gigawatt offshore wind farm called Sofia.

The Government’s 2050 net zero ambitions, combined with its Ten Point Plan and Energy White Paper which set out an aspiration for the UK to achieve 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, has helped fuel momentum in the sector.

Wind energy around the globe

The recently published Global Wind Report 2021 has found that the global wind power market has nearly quadrupled in size over the past decade with record growth in 2020 driven by a surge of installations in China and the US, together, the US and China installed 75% of new installations in 2020 and account for over half of the world’s total wind power capacity. Today, there is now 743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide.

The report shows that the current rate of wind power deployment will not be enough to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of this century, and said “urgent action” must be taken by policymakers now to scale up wind power at the necessary pace.

Scenarios that have been established by international energy bodies such as IRENA and the IEA, state a minimum of 180 GW of new wind needs to be installed every year to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and will need to increase to 280 GW annually to maintain a pathway compliant with meeting net zero by 2050.

Current challenges in the wind energy market

As renewable energy grows, wind energy will become the backbone of energy systems in many parts of the world, requiring us to move beyond the focus on simply increasing wind energy capacity to instead instigating new collaborations with stakeholders across the global energy system to uncover more powerful policies and unlock greater investments to fuel the Sustainable Energy Transition.

  • This entails expanding our reach to cover key issues such as limited customers on the grid, grid build-out, storage, market redesign and accelerating the deployment of renewable energy to new sectors.
  • Red tape and antiquated planning and permitting systems are slowing down the Energy Transition all over the world – many countries share similar challenges in market design, where investment in wind energy is available but policy conditions undermine the viability of projects.
  • Primarily countries in the Global South, renewable energy uptake faces structural barriers, such as energy access shortfalls and affordability gaps in the power sector. Worldwide, 770 million people still lack electricity access, and this is set to shrink only moderately to 430 million people by 2030

A team to combat wind energy challenges

The Global Wind Energy Coalition for COP26 was launched in April to help governments deliver on their Net Zero targets through the scaling up of investment and wind programme ambitions. The campaign is being led by the Global Wind Energy Council and RenewableUK and will focus on the build up to COP26 in Glasgow:

  • Highlighting the role of wind power in decarbonisation
  • Developing wind energy acceleration plans with policymakers in key onshore and offshore wind markets
  • Building collaborations with other technologies and heavy industries that work towards system-wide decarbonisation in a global renewable energy alliance; and
  • Creating a global Sprint for Offshore Wind Ambition to support governments achieve the global 1,400 GW target by 2050 set by the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition.

New enabling technologies

Large-scale wind penetration will require balancing and storage technologies to maintain a cost effective and secure transition. Hybrid renewable tenders with wind, solar and battery elements are now picking up around the world, but storage technologies will need to be competitive and scalable to disincentivise support of polluting and inflexible energy systems.

Concurrent to the transformation of infrastructure to enable grid interconnectivity and sector coupling, the production of green hydrogen as a key storage solution will need to be economically viable.

With hydrogen now playing a prominent role in national energy strategies, from Germany to Australia to Chile to South Korea, it is no longer meaningful to dismiss it as over-hyped. But it is worth examining the political and economic constraints of Power-to-X and green hydrogen to understand the degree to which they can accelerate the shift to carbon neutrality, and whether we are indeed headed towards the age of the “hydrogen economy”.

Of all renewable energies, offshore wind and wind/solar hybrid projects have the highest potential to improve the economics of green hydrogen projects due to cost competitiveness and scalability.

Wind energy the future for meeting business requirements 

Powersystems  have been awarded the electrical balance of plant works contract for South Kyle Wind Farm

Powersystems have been awarded the electrical balance of plant works contract for South Kyle Wind Farm

Powersystems have been awarded the electrical balance of plant works contract for South Kyle Wind Farm. Appointed by Civil Engineer’s RJ McLeod who in turn secured a £67m contract to construct Scotland’s newest onshore wind farm, on behalf of mutual client Vattenfall. South Kyle will be Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm in the UK.

South Kyle is a consented onshore wind farm consisting of 50 Nordex Wind Turbines and associated infrastructure.  South Kyle will be built on land largely utilised for commercial forestry, the project is located 5 km to the east of Dalmellington, lying within both East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The project works at South Kyle Wind Farm will see the high voltage electrical engineers Powersystems; design, procure, install, commission and deliver the High Voltage System for the 132/33 kV substation, as well as the 4.5km 132 kV cable connection and the 33 kV cables to connect the substation to the wind turbines.

Civil Engineers RJ McLeod will deliver the construction of 50 reinforced concrete wind turbine foundations and associated crane hard standings, construction and upgrade of approximately 48 km of access tracks and roads.

Vattenfall has entered a partnership with Greencoat UK Wind, who will acquire the wind farm following its completion.  Vattenfall’s agreement with Greencoat UK Wind aims to boost the socio-economic benefits for the region. This will enable delivery of a £38 million community benefit investment over the lifetime of the wind farm. This will be shaped by the needs of the communities of Dalmellington, Patna, New Cumnock and Carsphairn.

South Kyle Wind Farm will bring great opportunities with significant community benefit investment in the local area. Besides providing regular updates on the progress of the project, Vattenfall is also committed to engaging and working with local communities, particularly in relation to shaping the community benefit investment but also in supporting skills development, local supply chain and the environment.

Onshore wind in Scotland has the potential to make a significant contribution to reaching net zero and is the cheapest form of renewable energy generation that brings us closer to that goal.

South Kyle Wind Farm Facts

  • South Kyle will be Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm in the UK
  • Number of Nordex turbines is 50 N133/4.8MW machines on tubular steel towers
  • Total maximum capacity is 240 MW
  • Total height from tip of rotor blade is 149.5 meters
  • Once constructed, the wind farm will be able to power approximately 170,000 UK homes, saving close to 300,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of taking around 65,000 cars off the road
  • Commercial operation of the wind farm is planned to start Q1 2023
  • At the peak of construction, the scheme will require around 150 workers on site, and once operational the 240MW wind farm will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s net-zero ambitions

As part of building the UK carbon free future, Powersystems proudly support the design, installation, and commissioning of climate restoration technologies with connectivity in all renewable sectors.
Powersystems are powering the UK to a green recovery, with 5 GW of installed green energy as they play their part helping to decarbonise the National Grid.
Working with partners, delivering sustainable power solutions, proudly the Powersystems high voltage specialist team have connected 27% of all U.K. onshore wind farms.

Powersystems announce electrical works contract for the 62.4 MW Kennoxhead Wind Farm

Powersystems announce electrical works contract for the 62.4 MW Kennoxhead Wind Farm

Powersystems has announced it has been awarded the Electrical Balance of Plant contract by Welsh company Jones Bros; who are a highly experienced civil engineering company based in Ruthin, Denbigshire – they have been appointed to construct the 13 No Nordex Turbines collectively rated at 62.4 MW Kennoxhead Wind Farm on behalf of their mutual client Brookfield Renewable UK Limited.

The new subsidy-free onshore wind farm development at Kennoxhead in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, is located on land south of the A70, near the village of Glespin on the Douglas Estate which is steeped in history; growing from a rural estate village in the 19th century to a thriving mining community in the 20th century. Following the closure of its Glentaggart coal mine in 2011, the Estate has embraced the move away from fossil fuels and is actively working with Brookfield Renewable on the consented Kennoxhead Wind Farm cluster.

The Kennoxhead Wind Farm development is central to Brookfield’s development pipeline, has planning consents in place, as well as contracted grid connections.

Experience in the design and installation of high voltage electrical infrastructure has placed Powersystems in a position ideally suited to carryout wind farm electrical works and balance of plant contracts.

Powersystems have connected 24% of all U.K. land base wind farm generation.

Since Powersystems first wind farm installation at Goonhilly Downs in 1992 they have been actively involved with wind farm projects ranging from single turbines to 60 plus turbine sites.

The Kennoxhead Wind Farm project is progressing and construction has now started on site. At this early stage some works will be more visible than others. The site is currently being prepared to ensure that it can accommodate the construction works that will take place over the coming months.

Initial works focus on site establishment, installing the main access tracks and opening up the borrow pits.  In addition, the first of the crane hardstands at a wind turbine location has now been constructed.

The focus for the next few months will be to continue the access track construction, prepare the substation platform and undertake the construction of many of the crane hardstands.

Powersystems will be mobilising in the first week of March, to commence the installation of almost 80,000 metres of HV cable to link the main substation to the windfarm which is located 13km away.

In the Spring, Jones Bros will look to begin construction of the wind turbine foundations.

SP Energy Networks are continuing with their design and procurement process associated with the grid connection for the site and it is anticipated that they will commence works on site in the Summer.

An anticipated timeline of activity is as follows:-

  • October – December 2020 – Site preparation – including tree felling
  • October 2020 – March 2021 – Internal access track construction
  • January – April 2021 – Public road upgrades on minor Glentaggart Road
  • December 2020 – July 2021 – Turbine and infrastructure foundations
  • August – September 2021 – Turbine delivery
  • September – December 2021 – Wind turbine erection
  • First half of 2022 – Commissioning and completion of Kennoxhead Wind Farm Phase 1

Powersystems engineers are experienced in the design, specification, installation and commissioning of wind farm switchgear, transformers, cable infrastructure, earth systems and SCADA cabling, enabling the complete installation to be carried out.

In addition to the on-site electrical balance of plant works Powersystems can provide grid connections to wind farm sites, and have done so in some extremely remote and challenging locations – such as the construction on Glen Kyllachy Wind Farm, situated South of Inverness commencing in October 2019.

Other activities taking place offsite include the confirmation of the contract for the supply and installation of the wind turbines with Nordex.  It is intended that these will be transported to site in between August and December 2021.

Wind Power

Wind is one of the world’s fastest growing renewable energy sources and has become a major component in the energy mix. Wind power is clean, cost effective and does the same job as fossil fuels but generates less waste.

Scotland is one of Europe’s strongest wind resources creating significant potential for the deployment of wind power.

This trend is expected to continue as:

  • The costs of wind energy continue to fall
  • Threats to energy security persist across the globe
  • The need to tackle climate change becomes increasingly urgent

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Hitachi ABB Power Grids wins Dogger transmission deal

Hitachi ABB Power Grids wins Dogger transmission deal

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has won the order to connect the third transmission link from from Dogger Bank Wind Farm over 130 km to the UK mainland.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea will have a combined installed generation capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power six million UK homes.

This new award extends the ongoing delivery of Dogger Bank A and B to include C1

This contract is subject to financial close of the third phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is currently forecast for late 2021.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a JV between SSE Renewables and Equinor.

By providing its compact high-voltage direct-current technology, HVDC Light, Hitachi ABB Power Grids continues to shape the offshore power landscape, enabling the efficient transmission and dynamic integration of distant offshore wind power to the onshore grid.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will significantly contribute towards the UK government’s goals of sourcing up to 40 GW of offshore wind capacity and cutting emissions by 68% by 2030.

HVDC Light technology is a key enabler for remote wind farms off the coast of the UK.

According to an independent life cycle assessment, the implementation of this pioneering technology will reduce the lifetime CO2 impact by almost two-thirds, compared to previously commissioned installations.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ managing director of its grid integration business Niklas Persson said: “Together, with customers and partners, we are playing a key role in accelerating the energy transition.

“HVDC technology contributes significantly towards a carbon-neutral energy future by enabling the integration of large-scale and remote renewable energy generation.

“Being selected once again underlines our customers’ trust in our world-leading expertise and delivery capabilities.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm project manager Steve Wilson added: “Confirmation of our collaboration with Hitachi ABB Power Grids on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is another important milestone for our world-leading development.

“Working together in an integrated way will enable us to achieve optimum efficiency during the design, procurement and construction work, while the use of market-leading HVDC technology will ensure efficient and reliable transmission of renewable energy for six million UK households once all of the wind farm phases become operational.”

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Powersystems on track for energisation at the 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm

Powersystems on track for energisation at the 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm

In January 2020 Powersystems were delighted to announce, that they had been awarded the  electrical balance of plant works contract for the 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm by the Scottish company RJ McLeod, who are one of Scotland’s largest privately owned civil engineering and building contractors. They had been appointed to construct the 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm on behalf of their mutual client Innogy Renewables.

It’s been a challenging 16 months for the team at the 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm in the Scottish Highlands.  The site was suspended on the 24 March 2020 in line with Scottish guidance as lockdown began due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for all, except “essential”, construction sites to close.

Clearly, this had an early impact upon the project, however, even at that stage, the Powersystems high voltage engineering team did not anticipate a delay to turbine erection or energisation of the grid connection.

Thanks to favourable winter conditions last year, the team made good progress on site, constructing up to 70% of the access tracks and preparing the platform necessary for the construction of the substation platform.

The site was re-opened in July 2020, the project team reassembled to start the installation, jointing and termination of HV and fibre optic cables as well as earthing installation work.

Concurrently the  construction of the 132 kV substation progressed which involved the installation of structures, disconnectors, circuit breakers and VT’s.

The 33 kV switchgear, LVAC panel, 33 kV cables and control cables were delivered and installed in readiness for the delivery of protection panels in November 2020 to allow cold commissioning and final termination works.

 

The 48.5 MW Glen Kyllachy wind farm project is on track to be delivered and energised in the second half of 2021 which on completion Innogy Renewables has agreed a sale to Greencoat UK Wind.

This year Powersystems Site Manager, Stuart Gibson-Smith updates us on site conditions and the project so far.  He said, ‘Unfortunately, due to the severe weather in Scotland at the beginning of the year the progress on site has been slower, but with thanks to the great effort from RJ McLeod’s team clearing the snow and ice away the project team have been able to access site, even in temperatures of -13  degrees the team have terminated the 132 kV switchboard and installed the 132 kV circuit breaker.’

The Powersystems commissioning team are expected on site next week to make a start and getting ready for energisation at the end of March.

Read more about the latest wind turbine update at the Glen Kyllachy Onshore Wind Farm

Going above an beyond the Powersystems High Voltage Engineering team work through temperatures of -13 degrees to keep our projects delivered on time! 

 

 

 

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Powersystems works almost complete at the Douglas West 55 MW Wind Farm

Powersystems works almost complete at the Douglas West 55 MW Wind Farm

Powersystems your 132 kV high voltage (HV) specialist – update from Douglas West 55 MW Wind Farm, located near Poniel in Lanarkshire.

Works are almost complete in the 132 kV compound. The 132/33 kV Grid Transformer, 132 kV Disconnector, 132 kV Circuit Breaker & VTs, 33 kV Auxiliary Transformer, 33 kV Switchgear, associated Busbars and Protection Panels have been installed. Site commissioning activities are progressing well.

Turbine 33 kV terminations are programmed to commence in May 2021 and energised in June 2021.

The overall site will form part of a 200 MW “clean-energy cluster” for Scottish Power in the region, enough energy to power 100,000 homes.

This part of the cluster project will comprise of thirteen Vestas V136 – 3.6 MW turbines.

Powersystems announced in January 2020 that it had been awarded the electrical works contract by Scottish company RJ Mcleod who are a highly experienced civils contractor based in Dingwall – they had been appointed to construct the 55 MW Douglas West wind farm on behalf of their mutual client Blue Energy and Green Coat who acquired the project in December 2019.

Experience in the design and installation of 132 kV high voltage electrical infrastructure has placed Powersystems in a position ideally suited to carryout wind farm electrical balance of plant contracts.

Since Powersystems first wind farm installation at Goonhilly Downs in 1992 they have been actively involved with wind farm projects ranging from single turbines to 60 plus turbine sites. Powersystems engineers are experienced in the design, specification, installation and commissioning of wind farm switchgear, transformers, cable infrastructure, earth systems and SCADA cabling, enabling the complete installation to be carried out.

Powersystems have connected 24% of all U.K. land base wind farm generation.

This marks Powersystems  thirty third project with RJ McLeod.

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01454 318000

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