Helix Energy Solutions Group’s new T1200 burial and trenching unit is quickly establishing a positive track record following the completion of an oil and gas project in the North Sea. The T1200 features a 1,200hp jet trenching spread, capable of burying product in water depths to 3,000m (10,000ft).
T1200 was deployed to bury a 14km long (8.7 mile), 10 inch export pipeline that included a 3 inch piggyback methanol line. The project specialization called for the line to be buried 2m (6.5ft) deep, with one meter of covering fill. The subsea trenching unit’s water jetting system trenched and simultaneously buried the pipeline under 1.4m (4.5ft) of sand in a continuous run that took just 48 hours.
The successful project is the T1200’s first oil and gas operation, and proves the versatility of the asset which has also been deployed to trench and bury high voltage undersea cables used to transport electricity from offshore wind farms to onshore power stations.
The T1200, operated by Helix ESG’s robotics subsidiary, Canyon Offshore, performed its first trenching job in early July 2012 at the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm trenching and burying an approximately 700m (2,300ft) long power cable between the wind turbines. Out of the 80 sections required in the field, the T1200 trenched and buried 37.
The T1200 was built in the UK by Forum Energy Technologies’ Perry Slingsby Systems ROV brand. The T1200’s design was based around the time proven T750 trencher( also owned and operated by Canyon Offshore) but has over 50 percent greater power and the capacity to trench larger diameter products (36 inches) to burial depths of 3m (10ft) depending on soil strength.
- ROV Support Vessel Grand Canyon Completes Sea Trials (Norway) (worldmaritimenews.com)
Siemens AG (SIE) has revealed its intention to introduce technology in 2015 that will enable conversion of wind-turbine electricity into gas, providing wind farms with an alternative revenue stream when the grid is fully charged.
Michael Weinhold, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens’ Energy Businesses, says the electrolyser, a soccer-field sized plant that converts power into storable hydrogen, is in the testing phase, reports Bloomberg. It offers a promising capacity necessary for overcoming the challenge of how to harness fluctuating electricity output from wind farms, especially at night when demand is the lowest.
Munich-based Siemens allocates 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) on annual bases to devising new technology for the energy industry. Wind farms have faced hardship in commercial terms because power cannot be stored on a large scale, however the converted hydrogen can be stored by feeding it into the gas grid.
“The main problem today is the mismatch of renewable power generation and demand,” Weinhold said in an interview. “If we can offer solutions to solve that, we have a business case.”
“Today’s ruling is a blow to ratepayers, businesses, and municipalities who are being asked to bear billions of dollars in new electricity costs when other green energy alternatives are available at a fraction of the cost.
The good news is the increasingly clear reality that Cape Wind will never be built. Cape Wind has been denied FAA approval, has been denied critical Federal loan guarantees, has no utility willing to buy half its power, and cannot find investors. Those facts alone render this decision moot.”
- SJC confirms Cape Wind-National Grid power deal (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- After favorable court ruling, company chief says Cape Wind construction could begin within a year (boston.com)
- SJC Confirms Cape Wind-National Grid Power Deal (boston.cbslocal.com)
- SJC upholds DPU ruling approving sale of Cape Wind power to National Grid (boston.com)
- Cape Wind Power-Purchase Deal Upheld (earthtechling.com)
- Growing Cape Wind Opposition Brings Windfall Funds to Environmental Group (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- USA: Fight for Nantucket Sound Continues (mb50.wordpress.com)
Trump has already heavily criticised the plans and wrote to First Minister Alex Salmond saying that the proposal was “environmentally irresponsible”.
And now his lawyers have contacted Energy Minister Fergus Ewing requesting a hearing into the plans.
A letter, sent by Ann Faulds of legal team Dundas and Wilson, read: “A public inquiry into the proposed development is necessary to explore all material considerations, and to ensure a proper evidential base to inform Scottish ministers’ determination of the application.
“In particular, the potential economic impact of the proposed development on my client’s development, and by extension the regional and Scottish economy, has not been addressed in the environmental statement submitted in respect of the application.”
Trump’s son, Donald Jnr said he feared the public had not fully understood the impact the turbines could have and added: “I don’t think the public realise how close to the shore they are going to be, so I think there needs to be a hearing.”
But the windfarm, one-and-a-half miles from the course, and a £150million joint venture between utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, has generated hundreds of letters of support.
By Stephen Wilkie (express)
- Wind Farm Grave Yards (mb50.wordpress.com)
- The Netherlands: Norwind Installer and Ulstein Join Forces on New Offshore Wind Foundation Installation Vessel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Wind Energy Update: Which Comes first? The Wind Farm or the Turbine? (prweb.com)
Supporters of a barrage argue that it is second only to wind power in its ability to produce a substantial amount of electricity and in being a proven technology.
That is debatable, but what is certain is that the wind industry is facing increasing difficulties in getting projects off the ground.
Not only are wind farms becoming more likely to be rejected by local planners, investors are becoming increasingly put off by a perceived lack of political support, particularly in Wales.
This was highlighted in the summer when First Minister Carwyn Jones announced that the Welsh Government did not see the need for a large overhead pylon network in Mid Wales to connect wind farm developments to the grid.
The statement suggested the Welsh Government did not support major new wind farm developments since burying the power cables would add significantly to the cost.
The solar power industry has also had a hard time of it, although it is perhaps a victim of its own success.
First it imposed an upper limit of 50 kilowatts (kw) on the size of installations entitled to FITs, killing off the development of large solar parks. Then it announced it was to half the FITs rate from 43p to 21p by December 12, a far larger and earlier cut than had been previously suggested.
Supporters of renewable energy hope new biomass and anaerobic digestion plants will take up some of the slack, but there is every likelihood these will also face local planning difficulties, as waste burning plants elsewhere have.
In this context, tidal energy projects could be the best hope for renewable energy.
by Chris Kelsey (walesonline)
- More funding for wave and tidal (bbc.co.uk)
- Believe it, renewable tidal energy, alternatives from water (ees2001.wordpress.com)
The Baryonyx Corporation’s proposed South Texas offshore wind farm project will be subject to a full Environmental Impact Statement, according to a decision by the Galveston District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The alternative would have been for the USACE to settle for a less stringent Environmental Assessment.
Austin-based Baryonyx, which submitted permit applications to the USACE in June, announced the agency’s decision late last month. The company has proposed developing offshore wind leases off South Padre Island and Nueces County, and has more than 67,000 acres of submerged lands under lease from the Texas General Land Office across three sites between Corpus Christi and Brownsville.
This includes nearly 48,000 acres off Cameron County, divided between two parcels Baryonyx has named “Rio Grande” and “Rio Grande North.” The company is leasing more than 26,000 acres off Nueces County for its “Mustang Project.” If fully developed, the sites taken together could generate up to 3 gigawatts of electricity. One gigawatt equals 1 billion watts.
The USACE’s decision to order a full EIS comes as no surprise to Baryonyx officials. Mark Leyland, vice president for offshore projects, said he fully expected the USACE to call for it and in fact Baryonyx welcomes the move given the magnitude of the project.
An EIS is the most thorough type of environmental review the USACE can demand. The National Environment Policy Act requires it in the case of actions “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” An Environmental Assessment, which is done first to assess the need for an EIS, is sometimes all that’s required in projects that may or may not cause significant impact.
Leyland said the USACE will select the third-party contractor that will conduct the EIS, and the USACE will control the process, though the contract itself will be between Baryonyx and the contractor. He added that “the process is very much the Corps’ from now on.” Leyland said that contrary to what some have asserted, taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for the EIS.
“We pay for the environmental contractor that operates under the direction of the Corps to develop the Environmental Impact Statement,” he said.
The study will examine, among other things, the potential impact on migratory birds, bats, sea turtles and other marine life. The EIS will take two years to prepare, with the final draft likely to be submitted to the USACE in the first quarter of 2014. Construction on the wind farm wouldn’t begin until 2015 at the earliest.
Leyland and other Baryonyx executives came from Eclipse Energy, a British firm that developed the Ormonde wind farm project in the Irish Sea. That project, nearing completion, uses the largest wind turbines available, rated at 5 megawatts each though capable of producing more, according to Leyland. One megawatt equals 1 million watts.
Baryonyx’s Texas projects would use the same turbines on a much larger scale. The Ormonde Project calls for 30 turbines on 2,500 acres. Baryonyx’s Rio Grande and Rio Grande South leases, totaling roughly 41,00 acres, would feature rows of more than 300 turbines, each set of 50 taking two years to build. Leyland said turbines would be located no nearer than five miles from the coast, still close enough for them to be seen.
In a press release, Leyland expressed confidence that the EIS would confirm the company’s initial investigations, which concluded the wind farm project “would not result in an unacceptable impact on wildlife and other resources.”
“We believe that the thorough, scientific approach required by the EIS process will verify our preliminary findings,” he said.
By Steve Clark (brownsvilleherald)
Abandoned wind farms in Hawaii dot the Islands.
According to recent estimates, there are currently 14,000 abandoned wind farms dotting the landscape in the U.S.
So, what happened? Well, first off, birds get killed by these huge machines and the PETA crowd goes insane. The Altamont site, for example, is shut down four months out of the year to protect migrating birds. Second, when government subsidies stop, the projects die. Third, wind power has proven to be unreliable as a consistent source of power. There’s either too little wind, too much wind, or it’s too cold to operate them.
In Britain, the energy industry admitted as long ago as 2008 that wind turbines are idle up to 30% of the time because of the unreliability of the wind. A report from the British Renewable Energy Foundation at the time describes the economically disastrous wind turbine industry.
It is unlikely that the Obama Administration will let facts get in the way of their war against fossil fuels and their love affair with solar and wind power. Expect more taxpayer dollars to be flushed down the rat hole of solar and wind boondoggles. Expect to see more abandoned wind farms in the future — as long as Obama remains in office and the EPA is run by the climate alarmist zealot Lisa Jackson.
- Dutch Are Falling Out Of Love With Wind Farm Subsidies
- Five Problems with Wind Power
- Wind Farm Project In Washington Killed Over Endangered Sea Bird
- Wind Farms Disrupting Radar, Scientists Say
- What Happens When Wind Farm Freaks Clash With Bat Freaks?
- Wind Power – Global Market Size, Turbine Market Share, Installation Prices, Regulations and Investment Analysis to 2020 (prnewswire.com)
- Wind farms blasted in Algoma District (windconcernsontario.wordpress.com)
- Wind Energy Update: Which Comes first? The Wind Farm or the Turbine? (prweb.com)
- Osage Nation Sues to Block Wind Farm (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Offshore Wind Industry – Growth Potential Hampered by Issues in Supply Chain and Financing (prnewswire.com)
- Wind farms are useless, says Duke of Edinburgh (telegraph.co.uk)
- Sustainability Update : ‘Wind farms are useless’, says Duke (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Don’t tell the Queen but the Duke of Edinburgh thinks wind turbines are useless (ricrx.wordpress.com)
- Wind power – observation from the road (michaelsrickert.wordpress.com)
- Trump to fund wind farm opponents (bbc.co.uk)
- Anne Murray protests proposed Pugwash wind farm (cbc.ca)
- More Golden Eagle Deaths At Tehachapi Wind Farm (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
- Donal Trump To Use Billions To Bankroll Anti-Wind Farm Campaign In Scotland (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
The Obama administration’s proposal to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling exploration has angered many top politicians in the commonwealth who view drilling as a potential source of jobs. But the decision has reinvigorated environmentalists’ arguments that there’s more to gain from wind power.
So how do the two actually compare? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell points to $250 million annually in revenue sharing payments from potential offshore oil and gas leases. “And more than 1,900 jobs could be created,” says Jeff Caldwell, McDonnell’s press secretary.
”We could be talking about as many as 17,000 jobs in operations and maintenance,” says Oceana’s Jackie Savitz. “And in terms of construction, we’re talking about another 30,000 jobs.”
So for wind power, there could be many more jobs, but maybe less state revenue. Savitz says those jobs would materialize only if the supply chain for wind farms is based in Virginia — as opposed to another state or another country.
”It’s really a matter of who gets there first,” says McDonnell and former Gov. Tim Kaine have called for a combination of oil and renewables including wind, but Savitz says there’s a problem with that.
“When you try to do both, they end up competing with each other,” she says. “They need some of the same parts, same ships. It drives costs up.”
Not so, argues Tim Ryan, president of wind developer Apex Wind in Charlottesville, Va.
”Hampton Roads is a tremendous resource in terms of shipyards, dock areas, manufacturing capabilities,” Ryan says. “There are plenty of opportunities to do offshore wind and offshore oil and gas.”
The real barrier to wind isn’t drilling, Ryan adds. Instead, it’s expiring federal incentives and a lack of state incentives in Virginia.
And, of course there is more to compare than money and jobs, add the environmentalists. While oil pollutes, wind does not, they say.
By: Sabri Ben-Achour (wamu)
- Deepwater Wind Submits Plans for Nation’s First Offshore Wind Farm (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: LI-NYC Wind Farm Collaborative Plans to Build Wind Farm off Rockaways (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Drill, Castro, drill (mb50.wordpress.com)