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Marine Renewables

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January 2012 Issue

Fugro Seacore Completes Oyster 800 Foundations
Fugro Seacore Ltd. (Falmouth, England) has installed three sets of foundations for Aquamarine Power's (Edinburgh, Scotland) full-scale precommercial Oyster 800 devices at the European Marine Energy Centre's (EMEC) Billia Croo wave test site near Stromness, Scotland.

Fugro installed a paired foundation for the first 800-kilowatt Oyster 800 device and set up two monopiles in the seabed for two additional Oyster 800s, the company said in November. The £3 million contract for the foundations, signed in February, follows on Fugro's involvement in the installation and commissioning of the 315-kilowatt Oyster 1 device at EMEC in 2009.

The installation used Fugro's in-house equipment, including the jackup barge Excalibur, which has a T40 reverse circulation drill rig and grouting equipment. To achieve the required positional tolerances for the paired foundation, Fugro designed, built and commissioned a twin-pile gate.

"Pile gates were used during drilling the rock sockets for each pile and to support each pile during installation," said Bob Jenkins, managing director of Fugro Seacore. "These bespoke gates, which measure 34 meters long, 3.8 meters wide and 3.5 meters high, were able to move both vertically and horizontally using hydraulic pinning systems enabling accurate positioning of the piles into position."

In total, nearly 500 cubic meters of sandstone were drilled and excavated, four 95-tonne large-diameter piles were installed, and 150 cubic meters of grout were mixed and pumped over the 34-day operational period. For more information, visit www.seacore.com.

Douglas-Westwood Forecasts €51 Billion Offshore Wind Spend
More than €51 billion is expected to be spent on new offshore wind installations over the next five years, according to a November report by energy advisors Douglas-Westwood.

The report, "The World Offshore Wind Market Forecast 2012 to 2016," predicts new installed capacity amounting to 15 gigawatts over the five-year period and averaging 3 gigawatts a year, up from 600 megawatts a year in the previous five-year period. Offshore wind is becoming a mainstream power generation sector, the report said, with more than 3 gigawatts installed and another 2 gigawatts under construction. Additionally, the report found high levels of growth and investment are building up the offshore wind supply chain.

"Offshore wind farms continue to increase in scale with current projects representing investment levels of €1.5 billion or more," wrote report author Frank Wright. "With several credible wind turbine options now available to project developers, supplier competition is increasing, although [Douglas-Westwood] believes Vestas and Siemens will continue to dominate the market with their proven designs." For more information, visit www.douglas-westwood.com.

Semisubmersible Wind Turbine Deployed Offshore Portugal
Principle Power Inc. (Seattle, Washington) and Portuguese electric utility Energias de Portugal in November announced the successful offshore deployment of a full-scale 2-megawatt WindFloat off the coast of Aguçadoura, Portugal. This project, Principle Power said, was the first offshore wind deployment not requiring any heavy lift equipment offshore; final assembly, installation and precommissioning of the wind turbine occurred on land in a controlled environment.

The WindFloat was also the first offshore wind turbine in open Atlantic waters and the first deployment of a semisubmersible structure supporting a multimegawatt wind turbine, Principle Power said.

Following precommissioning of the system onshore near Setubal, Portugal, the WindFloat was loaded out using a dry-dock and towed offshore. The offshore tow consisted of some 350 kilometers in open Atlantic waters.

In December, the Windfloat was going through commissioning and testing, which was planned to include trial operations and a phased ramp-up in power production to full capacity.

"In a way, we are making a similar leap towards new energy resources as the oil and gas industry did in the 1970s when it began using floating structures," said Alla Weinstein, CEO of Principle Power. "Further, we have proven the capabilities of the Portuguese maritime industry to adapt and provide the necessary resources to successfully fabricate and deploy an offshore structure of this scale."

António Vidigal, CEO of Energias de Portugal, said the deep ocean would be the "next big energy frontier," by allowing utilities to eventually harness stronger and more stable winds, while delivering sustainable energy in the medium term. For more information, visit www.principlepowerinc.com.

Coalition Debuts Road Map for Marine Hydrokinetic Technology
Setting the goal of developing 15 gigawatts of grid-connected marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy by 2030, a coalition of companies published a technology road map describing the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the MHK industry in the United States.

The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition unveiled in early November the first U.S. MHK Technical Roadmap. The group said in its executive summary that it developed the road map to help guide government investment in the sector and to prompt the "needed reforms" to regulatory framework. The U.S. government has invested more than $50 million into MHK since 2008, said OREC President Sean O'Neill.

The road map estimates that 15 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030 would support the creation of 36,000 jobs. It outlines three phases in the pathway to commercialization, beginning with pilot projects in open-water settings and transitioning to MHK arrays in energetic locations by 2015. The final phase, the transition to 100-megawatt utility-scale arrays, would require that devices be made cost-effective, reliable and efficient with minimal maintenance cycles.

The goals of the group extend beyond installed capacity. The coalition wants the U.S. to have a commercially viable MHK industry, supported by a robust supply chain. The United States is trailing behind many other nations in developing its marine renewable energy industry.

The group's Canadian counterpart, the Ocean Renewable Energy Group, announced its industry road map at its annual conference in November. For more information, visit www.oceanrenewable.com.


2013:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV
2012:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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