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)