Tag Archives: wind farm

World’s largest wind turbines installed in Irish Sea

Dong Energy has installed the first of the world’s largest wind turbines, which are taller and wider than the London Eye, at its Burbo Bank windfarm off the coast of Britain in the Irish Sea, it said on Thursday.

The 32 turbines, made by Vestas, will each be able to generate 8 megawatts (MW) of electricity, stand 195 meters tall from sea level and have a rotor diameter of 164 meters.

“This will be the first commercial deployment of the world’s largest wind turbines,” Benj Sykes, Dong’s UK country manager for wind power, told Reuters.

Combined, the 32 turbines will create enough electricity to power around 230,000 homes.

The largest turbines currently installed, at Dong’s Westermost Rough wind farm off the Yorkshire coast, in the North Sea, have a 6 MW capacity and are around 177 meters tall.

Britain is seeking new electricity generation to replace its aging coal and nuclear power stations and has said around 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity could be installed by the end of the decade.

The extension to the existing Burbo Bank wind farm, which comprises of 25 smaller 3.6 MW turbines, will likely be completed by the first half of 2017.

“Using larger turbines is a critical part of the industry’s drive in getting costs down,” Sykes said.

“Each turbine needs foundations, cables to an onshore substation and maintenance, so the more megawatts you can generate from each turbine, the lower the overall cost per MW.”

Dong has a target to drive down costs of offshore wind power to 100 euros ($112.48) per megawatt hour (MWh) by 2020.

The Burbo Bank extension has already secured a minimum price for the electricity generated through Britain’s contracts for difference (CfD) scheme of 150 pounds ($200) MWh for 15 years.

Britain’s government has said its next round of CfD renewable funding will focus on offshore wind, but the subsidies will be dependent on the wind industry’s ability to drive down its costs.

Proposed wind farm near Missouri wildlife refuge will move

A company that had planned to build the largest wind farm in Missouri near several wildlife areas has decided to look elsewhere because modifications needed to protect the area’s animals made it financially unworkable.

Element Power, based in Oregon, had proposed erecting 84 to 188 wind turbines near Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Holt County and seven nearby conservation areas. The company, which had been studying the project for five years, had leased 30,000 acres of private land near the wildlife areas since 2010.

Squaw Creek, about 100 miles north of Kansas City, has more than 7,400 acres of wetlands, fields and grassland that attract several birds, including pelicans, wood ducks, trumpeter swans, blue-winged teals, sandhill cranes, blue herons, snow geese and smaller shorebirds.

The proposed location of the wind farm was criticized by the Missouri Department of Conservation, environmentalists and birding groups, who said it would endanger the millions of birds and bats that migrate through the area.

Element Power officials recently notified Holt County commissioners that the company was moving the project because measures that would be required to protect wildlife made it financially troublesome, The St. Joseph News-Press reported. The company said it was considering other areas of Missouri for the project but did not specify where.

Landowners involved in the project also received a written 30-day notice of a lease termination.

“The reality of the situation is that there are other areas in Missouri that make more economical sense to build in and as such, we are working to move the project to a more suitable location,” the letter states.

Michael Hutchins, a spokesman for the American Bird Conservancy, said the organization is cautiously optimistic.

“This would be extremely good news from the perspective of bird and bat conservation if they are going to move this wind farm to an area where the turbines will be less of a concern,” Hutchins said.

Wisconsin wind farm developers appeal state ruling

Developers of the only major wind farm project pending in Wisconsin are appealing a decision by state regulators to block construction plans.

Emerging Energies, of Hubertus, contends its $250 million project doesn’t need to be redesigned to address regulators’ concerns about noise. The Public Service Commission recently voted against allowing the project to proceed because the state noise limit might be exceeded on occasion for homes near the wind turbines.

The developer has filed an emergency request to allow the project to go forward. The Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/XY6aMx ) says both opponents and proponents were asked to weigh in on the project by Wednesday. The PSC could consider the matter at its meeting Friday.

Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers in the state have received enormous cash contributions from fossil fuel producers and related industries, which strongly oppose alternative energy sources, including wind and solar. Those industries have created AstroTurf front groups that host Web sites warning of false and unproven hazards associated with wind turbines.