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Elecnor Wins Contract to Build 185 MW Wind Farm in Chile

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The group will install 44 turbines that are 72 metres high, which will add a power capacity of 185 MW.

The Spanish infrastructure, energy and telecommunications group, Elecnor, has been awarded the construction of a new wind farm in Chile backed by Mainstream Renewable Power, which will provide clean energy to the national grid from 2021.

Located 50 kilometres from the city of Antofagasta, in a desert and relatively flat area, with heights of between 660 and 800 metres, the Cerro Tigre wind farm will have a power generation capacity of 185 MW.

Elecnor will be responsible for the full execution of the Balance of Plant (BOP), which includes the installation of 44 72 metre-high turbines of 4.2 MW each. In addition, the group will build a new booster substation, a 220 kV transmission line, over 20 kilometres of track, and the rest of the auxiliary civilian infrastructure. The contract also includes the expansion of another existing booster substation by building a 12 kilometre-long transmission line with 220 kV. The works are scheduled for completion in 2021.

Elecnor has been operating in Chile since the 1980s and has played a crucial role in energy development in the country by generating and transmitting power, developing non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) and applying energy savings at its facilities.

International Collaboration To Bring Wind into the Distributed Energy Mainstream

In the not-too-distant past, spotting a solar panel on a rooftop or powering a small health center in a rural community far away from the grid was a rare occurrence. Fast forward a decade and the once-rare sighting is now ubiquitous. The on-site, distributed solar energy boom is powering everything from single-family homes to entire industries.

Could that successful model be applied to wind energy?

The International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA Wind) has convened researchers from around the world to help address the challenges that are keeping wind energy from providing similar services. This team of global experts, led by researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is studying how wind energy can benefit distributed energy systems under IEA Wind Task 41, “Enabling Wind to Contribute to a Distributed Energy Future.”

“Right now, roof-mounted solar is becoming common across the United States,” said NREL Deployment Manager Ian Baring-Gould, who serves as the technical director and co-lead of the IEA Wind project. “Our hope is this IEA Wind research will lead to a similar level of affordability and flexibility for smaller-scale, localized wind installations. We want to increase the reach of this clean energy technology.”

A New Model for Wind Installations

While innovations have significantly decreased installation and operating costs for utility-scale wind power plants, smaller-scale distributed wind systems have not experienced the same cost reductions, limiting wind’s role in the developing distributed energy market. At the same time, utilities, communities, and nations are looking to distributed generation as an effective way to meet future energy needs.

To become cost competitive, distributed wind technologies will require a wide range of technical and nontechnical advances.

Through this IEA Wind work, researchers are examining a broad spectrum of solutions involving wind turbines deployed in distributed applications in behind-the-meter, in-front-of-the-meter, microgrid, and off-grid applications, and in combination with other distributed energy and energy storage technologies. Turbine sizes under consideration range from small wind turbines to multimegawatt, large-scale turbines deployed in small numbers closer to loads.

NREL conducted work on the forthcoming balance-of-station model for distributed wind applications. The model allows for a more structured comparison of the levelized cost of energy impacts of different foundation and installation strategies and solutions. Recent efforts focused on megawatt-scale distributed applications, but future efforts will include distributed applications as small as 20 kilowatts.

“We’re already gaining a better understanding of the technical requirements and marketplace realities,” Baring-Gould said. “We’re optimistic that this will lead not just to cost savings opportunities, but also to an entirely new model for wind installations.”

A Global Effort

To expand distributed generation possibilities for wind worldwide, the 4-year effort brings together research organizations from 11 participating countries. In addition to the United States, IEA Wind project participants include representatives from Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Korea, and Spain, and the list of interested countries continues to grow.

The team has already completed an assessment of the current international standards for small wind turbines through a series of industry stakeholder sessions. A detailed international research plan will be developed to build the research case for updating international standards following meetings in Asia and North America. A distributed wind data catalog is also being developed, which will make information on distributed wind operational data more readily available for future international collaboration.

Learn more about NREL’s wind research and the Enabling Wind to Contribute to a Distributed Energy Future project.

The birth of offshore wind in Poland

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The letter defines the next steps in the collaboration to jointly develop a strong wind industry in Poland. It was signed by Poland’s Minister of Climate Michał Kurtyka, Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin as well as representatives of investors and industry.

“Today marks the birth of offshore wind in Poland. Offshore wind has shown its reliability and efficiency elsewhere in Europe. With this joint ‘Letter of Intent’ Polish government and industry send a strong sign to investors and markets – that they want lots of offshore wind too and are putting in place a regulatory framework to support it”, says Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope.

In its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) Poland identified offshore wind as one of key technologies to meet its goals for renewable energy for 2030. It is also a strategic project in the draft of Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040. It will help diversifying the Polish national power generation structure that today heavily depends on coal.

Poland’s expansion targets for offshore wind are ambitious. Poland doesn’t yet have any offshore wind farms. But by 2030 they aim to have installed 3.8 GW of offshore wind – with 10 GW of new capacity awarded CfDs by then. And by 2050 they want a massive 28 GW, which would make Poland the largest operator of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.

In the “Letter of Intent”, the signatories agree to take joint action on the development of the offshore wind market in Poland. The letter acknowledges the role of offshore wind in meeting the European Union’s Green Deal objectives while increasing the security of energy supply and reducing Poland’s CO2 emissions. The signatories commit to meet regularly to exchange on progress and experience around the development of offshore wind. The meetings will be coordinated by the Minister of Climate.

“The potential for offshore wind in the Baltic is immense, and the Polish wind industry is ready to get started. Wind will contribute to a more modern, independent and healthy Poland. It will strengthen cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. And it will create future-proof Polish jobs in the manufacturing, service, maritime and port industries”, says Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope.

The letter is an important step towards Poland’s first “Offshore Wind Act” which is being prepared by the Government and is expected to enter into force in 2020.

Virtual Collegiate Wind Competition Adds New Dimension to Wind Workforce Development says NREL

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The U.S. Department of Energy announced the winners of the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition. The award for the Turbine Digital Design contest went to California State University Maritime Academy, while James Madison University claimed the award for the Project Development contest.

The U.S. Department of Energy launched the Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) as an opportunity for college students to build the skills, experience, and industry connections needed to start careers in the fast-growing field of wind energy. Since 2014, the competition has challenged undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to develop unique solutions to complex wind energy challenges in the areas of technical design and wind project development.

This year’s 12 teams had an experience unlike any before them as the 2020 CWC was held for the first time ever as a virtual event. As they prepared for the competition, the teams swapped their poster presentations for digital slides, practiced their pitches from home, and used digital communication tools to stay connected to their teammates. At the event itself, competitors logged in from near and far to present their turbine designs and wind project proposals to a remote panel of judges.

The unique challenges of the 2020 competition added a new dimension to the CWC’s mission. In addition to the traditional CWC experience of designing a wind turbine and planning a wind project site, the 2020 virtual format provided participants an opportunity to use digital tools to collaborate and communicate ideas with people who could be hundreds or thousands of miles away.

“As competitors adapted to the constraints and possibilities of the 2020 virtual format, they practiced persistence, flexibility, and resilience—valuable qualities, no matter the industry,” said Elise DeGeorge, competition manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which facilitates the CWC on DOE’s behalf. “In the face of remarkable obstacles, the 2020 CWC teams proved their mettle.”

Masdar Signs PPA Agreement With Uzbekistan Government To Develop 500MW Wind Project

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Masdar has recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build and operate a 500-megawatt utility-scale wind farm project.

During a virtual ceremony in presence of  Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, Dadajon Isakulov, Chairman of JSC National Electric Grid, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and Investment Agreement was signed.Masdar will set up this project which is located in the Zarafshon district of the Navoi Region. The Commercial operation is anticipated. to be achieved by 2024.

“Masdar is our long-term trusted partner in expanding our renewable energy capacities and bringing their well-known international expertise to the country. This energy project with Masdar clearly illustrates the testimony to the strong commitment by the Government of Uzbekistan to increasing private sector participation in the country and support our ambitious clean energy goals.”, Umurzakov said while signing the agreement.

Masdar’s Al Ramahi stated that,  “Masdar is proud to be collaborating with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on our second utility-scale clean energy project in the country. The 500MW wind farm supports Uzbekistan’s long-term renewable energy ambitions and its strong commitment to not only modernise its power sector, but also invest in energy security.As a global leader in the development of utility-scale wind power, Masdar is committed to advancing clean-tech innovation both regionally and internationally by deploying the latest technologies at scale and enhancing their commercial viability.”

The signing ceremony highlighted Uzbekistan’s aim of developing 5 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

INDIA NEEDS TO BREAK CATCH-22 OF OFFSHORE WIND TO MEET ITS DOUBLING ELECTRICITY DEMAND BY 2030, MEC

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According to a new report released today by MEC+ and QVARTZ, Offshore wind can fit in the energy mix of India as the need for higher-priced power is expected to emerge in the country by 2030. The available options for meeting India’s doubling demand will fall short by nearly 50 GW. India would have the option to fire expensive coal power to meet this demand or switch to a greener alternative of offshore wind. While coal-based power prices increase to reach EUR 65/MWh in 2030, offshore wind costs can decline from current high levels to reach that figure.

The report highlights that an emerging need for expensive power (~EUR 65/MWh) combined with ambitious targets and a conducive tender design are expected to promote offshore wind in the country. However, misplaced pricing expectations at levels of land-based renewables, local resource and siting conditions being dis-similar to that in Europe, ambiguous approval process, and lack of indigenized supply chain create hurdles for uptake.

Participants can leverage existing local capabilities and their global expertise to deliver cost-competitive OW projects in India. The report deep dives on all supply chain players and observes that India has access to supply chain and has experience within OW adjacent sectors – onshore wind and O&G. No fundamental bottleneck is expected in the availability of the supply chain for OW deployment. Nonetheless, investments would be required to scale existing capabilities.

Additionally, the report recommends that prospective participants must build comfort with quality along with Health Safety & Environment (HSE) practices of the local supply chain and modify practices as per the Indian supply chain cost structure.

Sidharth Jain, Founder and CEO at MEC+ commented: “OW in India is attractive but has practical challenges that can be resolved to make it a scalable opportunity. Foreign players entering the market should take caution of the pricing dynamics, OW resource variation between EU and India, and the difference needed in the business practices to meet those price targets.”

VCCI Proposes Government To Accelerate Appraisal And Approval Of The Supplementary Plan of Wind Power

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Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) proposed the Government to push up the appraisal and approval of a supplementary plan of wind power to promptly implement under Decision on a mechanism to support the development of wind power projects in Vietnam.VCCI suggested that the duration of implementation of the act should be extended till the end of 31 December 2023 as many projects are behind schedule on prolonged site clearance and planning procedures and wind turbine suppliers from Europe are ceasing their production.

On 10 September 2018, the Prime Minister, for in-land wind power, ordered that the purchase price at the delivery point is VND 1,927/kWh, equivalent to 8.5 Us Cents/kWh (excluding VAT); for offshore wind power, the price at the delivery point is VND 2,223/kWh, equivalent to 9.8 Us cent/kWh (excluding VAT). The price is applicable to wind powers with a part of or the whole plants whose commercial operation date is before 1 November 2021 and within 20 years from commercial operation date.

The decision has created a driving force for the development of the wind power market in Vietnam.  Hundreds of projects have been proposed to the supplementary planning; many projects are being constructed. However, up to now, there are 11 projects put into operation with the total capacity of 377 MW.

The reason is that from 1st November 2018, investment registration and supplementary planning activities for new wind power projects and transmission grid projects releasing capacity have been delayed for more than a year due to no guidance on the implementation of the Planning Law which came into effect from 1 January 2019. There are still 45,000MW of wind power (250 projects) proposed by the provinces that have not been appraised and supplemented on the planning, VCCI stated.

VCCI has explained that The complicated COVID-19 pandemic across the world has affected the progress of turbine supply, prolonged construction, installation and delayed the wind powers projects progress; production and supply activities of main equipment, components of the projects have become insufficient or stagnated; the immigration of foreign technical workers and experts is interrupted, etc.

According to the report submitted to the Prime Minister, VCCI suggested the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) should instruct commercial banks to allow enterprises to invest in the energy sector, including a reduction in the requirements of equity capital when borrowing capital (from 30% – 40% to 15% – 20%) to invest in this sector, especially in wind power and solar power to serve energy security.

VCCI also suggested that the SBV take stronger measures to encourage commercial banks to make a further reduction of 2-3% for new and existing loans (around 4-5% for VND loan and 2-3% for USD-denominated loan) for each group of customers affected by the Covid-19.

The SBV needs close guidance for commercial banks so that they are stand by, sympathize, and share difficulties with businesses affected by the pandemic. Because the nature of the banking-business relationship is symbiotic, coexistence, and development. It is necessary to strengthen the application of credit guarantee methods to ensure the best accessibility to loans for businesses, it added.

Riyadh’s Alfanar Group Plans To Sell 300MW Wind Power Projects In India

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Riyadh-based Alfanar Group is looking to sell half of its 600 megawatts (MW) wind power projects ie. 300 MW which will probably rank among the largest wind energy deals in India. Alfanar has allocated JM Financial to search for a buyer, according to a news agency.

India Ratings and Research wrote in a report that “This move will benefit all power companies, including central public sector enterprise gencos and transmission companies, independent power producers and renewable generators.”

The report added that “The dues clearance, which has remained a key monitorable for all gencos, would be a positive step. Ind-Ra believes that unless there are structural reforms in the power distribution segment, the problem of mounting dues could become perennial and the current relief would be temporary”.

Alfanar Group is specialized in developing and investing in renewable energy projects, including CSP, PV, wind energy, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to-energy. It is primarily engaged in manufacturing a wide range of Low, Medium and High Voltage electrical construction products, EPC solutions for conventional and renewable power plants, allied engineering services and design engineering and has a clean energy portfolio of 1.4 gigawatts (GW) in West Asia, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Alfanar has a wind project portfolio. It also has 600MW of projects in India which is run by SECI. 

Zafarana Wind Project Life Span Ends; To Close In 2021: Official

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The 30MW wind farm at Zaafarana will be shut down in 2021 as its 20-year life span comes to an end, a Ministry of Electricity official stated.

The closure of the project is likely to affect the quantities of local renewable energy. This in turn reduces the value of the New and Renewable Energy Authority’s (NREA) financial resources in the coming years, which the authority seeks to counter by establishing more projects in the coming period, the official added.

The Zafarana has turbines that were built in eight phases between 2000 and 2010 it cover over 120km which produces 550MW of renewable energy. The Zafarana development is the 2nd largest station in east Africa after the Gabal El Zeit farm that produces 580MW.

The establishment of these projects was set up with the help of loans from Japan, Denmark, Spain, and Germany. 

By 2022 Egypt plans to increase its renewable energy production to 20% of which 12% will be produced from wind energy, 6% from hydroelectric power, and 2% from solar energy.

Recently, The Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) of the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade has approved the construction of a small 90 kWp solar power plant. It aimed to supply solar energy to the University of Zagazig in Egypt. This power plant is part of the Egypt-PV project. It is financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and it has been implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which will act as the GEF Implementing Agency.

UAE’s Masdar To Set Up Wind Farm In Uzbekistan

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Masdar,one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies in Abu Dhabi signed an agreement to set up and operate a 500-megawatt wind farm project in Uzbekistan, the Abu Dhabi media office said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed between Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and JSC National Electric Grid.This project is part of the country’s goal of developing 5 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

In January, Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and Infinity Energy, Egypt’s leading renewable energy developer, have agreed to establish a joint venture company, Infinity Power, to develop utility-scale and distributed solar energy and wind power projects in Egypt and Africa. 

The agreement was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week by Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Infinity Energy Managing Director and Co-founder Mohamed Elamin Ismail Mansour, and Infinity Energy CEO Nayer Fouad. 

Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is a global leader in renewable energy and sustainable urban development.It is Wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government’s Mubadala Investment Company and is catalyst for renewable energy development in the Arab world over the past decade.

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