Briefly Noted … Wind Energy

Powergen designing offshore windfarm in Britain’s Thames River to generate 500 MW; Jordan to solicit offers for three wind stations; 23 windfarms planned to generate power in northeast Brazil; Australia’s Michelago to develop second windfarm; Republican Senator Harry Reid reaffirms support for geothermal energy in Senate Energy Bill; GreenVOLT to complete initial contracts for wind storage systems next year; Renewable Energy Systems to create Swedish subsidiary that will develop windfarms; Kenya calls tenders for development of GIS interactive technology to develop a wind resource atlas; more.

– British utility Powergen is designing an offshore windfarm in the Thames River estuary to generate 500 MW of electricity from hundreds of turbines sited on sandbank shallows. By siting the project near London, officials say the power is closer to demand. The scheme is one of a number of studies that Powergen is conducting with other partners for 400 to 800 MW of projects in preparation for the next round of offshore leases expected to be awarded this year. The British government sees the growth of offshore wind generation as a key to meeting its target of producing 10 percent of power from green sources by 2010. – The government of Jordan will solicit offers from international firms interested in building three wind power stations in the Hofa area of Irbid, Fujeij area of Shobak and Wadi Araba near Aqaba. The government will also appoint a consultant to help it assess the bids for the windfarms, each of which will be 25 to 30 MW capacity. Total cost will be US$300 million. The cost to import energy is 10 percent of the country’s GDP. – Twenty-three new windfarms are planned to generate power in the heavily populated northeast region of Brazil. The national Electricity Agency Aneel has authorized 43 wind plants, all in the northeast, to bring 3,680 MW to the grid by 2005 for an investment of US$2 billion. Earlier, Aneel authorized construction of 20 windfarms with turbines to be commissioned by July. – Australian metals company, Michelago Ltd, wants to develop a second windfarm as part of its decision to pursue a low cost renewable energy strategy. It has reached agreement with Pacific Power International to develop a 30 MW facility in New South Wales Southern Highlands. It will pay an intellectual property fee to PPI to secure wind data, with the fee refundable if necessary approvals cannot be obtained. – One of the larger wind and small hydro companies in Canada, Canadian Hydro Developers, wants to triple its size in five years. – Powergen, whose takeover by German energy giant E.ON may be finalized this year, wants to raise investment in renewables. It wants to increase its green generation capacity to 1,000 MW by 2010, from the current 100 MW, with 80 percent in wind and 20 percent in biomass. It says there are limitations with windfarm sites on shore and is looking at options for biomass, including adapting coal power stations to run on wood and straw. – Republican Senator Harry Reid has reaffirmed his support for development of geothermal energy in the Senate Energy Bill. The chairman of the energy appropriations subcommittee says his target is to produce 10 percent of electricity used in the western U.S. from geothermal, and he wants a permanent tax credit for new wind energy and a credit for the production of geothermal power. – GreenVOLT Power Corp says it will complete initial contracts for wind turbine energy storage systems to be beta-tested early next year. The Canadian company says it has seen strong interest in its Saltwater-Air-Magnesium Fuel-Cell technology, and is shipping production units. It received scientific research tax credit to develop catalytic electrolyzers that use surplus electricity from wind or solar power to make hydrogen. – British windfarm developer, Renewable Energy Systems, will create a subsidiary in Sweden to take advantage of the growing Scandinavian demand for green power. The unit will work with Swedish independent windfarm developer Borevind AG. RES specializes in turn-key windfarms and recently finished the world’s largest facility, 280 MW, in Texas. – The Kenyan Ministry of Energy has called tenders for the development and installation of GIS interactive technology to develop a wind resource atlas. – Austrian-Czech tension over a nuclear reactor at Temelin is not stopping the two countries from cooperating on wind energy. WEB Windenergie AG of Austria and Czech partners in Brno want to build two wind stations near the Czech border to take advantage of the Czech subsidy of three crowns per kilowatt hour, which is one-third more than in Lower Austria. WEB Windenergie is Austria’s largest renewables company, with 25 wind units in Austria and 14 in Germany. – Four consortia have entered bids for a 100 MW wind park off the Dutch coast, says the government. The Near Shore Windpark will be 8 km in the North Sea coast, near Egmond aan Zee. A subsidy of Euro 27.2 million is available and a contract will be awarded in April, with construction to start in 2003. – The regional Spanish government in Valencia has contracted a Euro 2 billion windfarm to three groups. Iberdrola was awarded five of the projected 15 sites through its EHN unit, which plans to invest Euro 661 million to install generating capacity of 758 MW. The other winners are the Guadalaviar consortium and Endesa’s Proyectos Eolicos Valencianos. Guadalaviar has been awarded five sites to install 608 MW of turbines, while Proyectos Eolicos Valencianos received three site for 500 MW of capacity. – A US$1 billion windfarm is planned by China Huaneng for Guangdong province. Wind measurement is underway for the 100 MW Nanao windfarm, with completion expected in two years. – Swedish companies have built and will develop the Lisewo1 wind project near Gdansk on Poland’s Baltic coast. Renewable Energy in Sweden has completed a 17 turbine windfarm and will provide consulting services after transferring the facility to the Swedish company Airtrends Int’l AB for US$286 million. – Wind company Gamesa has signed a Euro 540 million contract to produce fuselage components for the Airbus A380 passenger airplane. The Spanish firm is also involved in aeronautics.
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