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March 2013 Issue

Wave Energy Project Gets Go-Ahead in Yakutat, Alaska
Resolute Marine Energy (RME) of Boston, Massachusetts, announced in February that its preliminary permit application to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been approved for the Yakutat Wave Energy Project in Alaska.

In July 2012, RME filed an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the project, which involves a 25-square-mile area within submerged lands off Yakutat, a remote community in southeast Alaska. The project will consist of an array of RME’s SurgeWEC wave energy converters for a total installed capacity of 750 kilowatts. The estimated annual generation exceeds 3,000 megawatt-hours. 

“Today we’re totally at the mercy of the price of diesel fuel,” said Scott Newlun, general manager of Yakutat Power. “We see a huge energy resource going to waste over on Cannon Beach and hope this project brings sustainable power to Yakutat and eases the cost of energy on our rate payers, which is currently 55 cents per kilowatt-hour for most residential customers.”

Studies and planning will now start for the design of the project and preparation for a FERC operation license application.

In December 2012, RME successfully tested its latest SurgeWEC device off the Outer Banks in Duck, North Carolina. The tests were the final phase of work under an award from the U.S. Department of Energy.


Maine Approves Statoil Hywind Demonstration Project
Maine’s Public Utilities Commission has approved support for the Statoil (Stavanger, Norway) Hywind Maine demonstration project, which means utility customers will have to pay about 75 cents more a month on average, Portland Press Herald reported.

Hywind could become the first floating wind turbine park in the United States.

Statoil’s proposal won a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company is now competing for final awards up to $47 million. But if Statoil doesn’t win a second grant installment or Congress does not renew a key tax credit for renewable energy, the company might not move forward with Hywind.

If Statoil does proceed, the project, which would cost $120 million, would put four 3-megawatt wind turbines on floating spar-buoy structures tethered to the seabed at 460 feet depth. Power could be moving through undersea cable into the grid by 2016.

Norway’s Hywind project has exceeded performance goals by generating power 50 percent of the time and surviving 50-foot waves and hurricane-force winds. The success, however, came at a high price tag: $62 million for the single 2.3-megawatt turbine. The company aims to reduce the technology’s cost, which the Maine Hywind project could facilitate.

The Maine Hywind would help Statoil reach its goal for this decade of producing power at 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour in a commercial wind park.


EMP Teams With Solbian To Bring Solar Panels to Ships
Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP) of Fukuoka, Japan, will collaborate with Solbian Energie Alternative Srl of Avigliana, Italy, to develop applications for Solbian’s solar-cell technology across a variety of marine renewable energy projects for shipping, including EMP’s Aquarius MRE System, which comprises rigid sails, solar panels and energy storage modules.

Initially, lab testing activities in Osaka, Japan, will focus on incorporating Solbian’s technology into EMP’s EnergySail, which can be configured with solar panels or wind power devices. Later this year, sea trials are planned, as well as the application of Solbian technology to other projects, such as EMP’s AquariusUSV and Aquarius Eco Ship.

Solbian’s light, flexible and impact-resistant photovoltaic modules, or SOLBIANFLEX panels, use lightweight polymer films instead of traditional glass, which allows for new applications for the proven technology of crystalline silicon cells. The polymers are also highly resistant to weathering, even under extreme conditions.


WindSentinel Buoy to Aid Taiwan’s Offshore Wind Projects
AXYS Technologies Inc. (Sidney, Canada) will supply the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan with the WindSentinel wind resource assessment buoy.

The purchase has been funded by a National Science Council grant. The system will be used to support Taiwan’s development of 3 gigawatts of offshore wind projects.

At this first stage, the WindSentinel will be deployed in the Super Tank at NCKU’s Tainan Hydraulics Lab.


New O&M Base for Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm
Scira Offshore Energy Ltd. (Walsingham, England), which runs Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, moved in February to a new operation and maintenance (O&M) base at Wind Farm Place in Egmere, England.

The facility is a low-energy consumption building, with low-energy lighting, highly insulated walls, a green roof to reduce rainwater run off and gray-water recycling of rainwater to flush toilets. With 900 square feet of office accommodation and 400 square feet of warehousing, the facility will house Scira’s management and administration staff, and serve as the base for the wind turbine technicians.


MTU’s Series 2000 Engines Power Wind Farm Support Vessels
VEKA Group (Werkendam, Netherlands) has launched its first wind farm support vessel series, called Animal. Each ship in the series is equipped with twin 8V 2000 M72 engines from MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH (Friedrichshafen, Germany). The catamaran is about 20 meters in length and has a service speed of 23 knots, with a top speed of 27 knots. The support vessel can carry 12 passengers and a three-man crew.

MTU has also delivered twin 8V 2000 M72 engines for the first of eight wind farm support vessels by shipbuilder Strategic Marine Pty Ltd. (Henderson, Australia). The 21-meter catamaran, which is capable of speeds up to 25 knots, was built for the European market in the Singapore shipyard of Strategic Marine.


2014:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY
2013:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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