Government policy on offshore wind can accelerate the industry and save billions for UK energy users
Insight from new report by BVG Associates for Committee on Climate Change
30 June 2015
BVG Associates has published today the first quantitative study of the effect of government policy on cost of energy from offshore wind during the 2020s.
The study was commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC is an independent organisation set up by Government to advise it on emissions targets and preparing for climate change, including for the energy generation sector.
The study considers the effect of a range of policy drivers in the context of a predominantly pan-European market. It shows that simply by giving better visibility and confidence of future levels of deployment to the offshore wind industry, the Government could cut £1.9 billion in the 2020s from the cost to UK energy users of offshore wind projects built between 2021 and 2030, compared with the current approach. Visibility in the shorter-term means rolling clarity on the anticipated size of CfD auction pots. In the longer-term, visibility and confidence come from a stable policy environment based on a rational, framework for low-carbon energy that prioritises technologies offering the lowest cost solutions.
Further, the study shows what could happen if the UK Government, along with others in the rest of Europe, decided to facilitate an accelerated programme of deployment. In this case, offshore wind would generate 35% more electricity in 2030, but at a cost increase to UK energy users, for offshore wind during 2020s, of only 4%, due to the increased pace of cost of energy reduction. It also shows that under a holistic combination of policy drivers, the cost of offshore wind energy could fall to around £80/MWh for projects first generating in 2030. By then, it will already be cost competitive with other new-build electricity generation technologies, including combined cycle gas turbines.
The report is published alongside the CCC’s new progress report and will feed into its recommendations for the fifth carbon budget, due to be published later this year.
In 2012, BVG Associates published what remains the most comprehensive, industry supported, study yet into the impact of technology on cost of energy in offshore wind, looking to 2020.
Like that work, this study is groundbreaking in being the first published work to quantify robustly the impact of policy on cost of energy in offshore wind, this time looking to 2030. Again, it is based on detailed engagement with industry at a senior level and transparent modelling of the impact of policies on each element of supply, taking into account the interactions between the UK and other European markets.
The report identifies the key elements of a policy strategy for offshore wind in the 2020s that balances effectiveness in cost of energy reduction with efficiency in minimising support cost to UK energy users. The analysis covers a set of inclusive, holistic policy options including market scale, visibility, publicly funded R&D and other government-led interventions. The report is available for download from the Publications page.
Lead-author, Chris Willow, said: “The CCC set us a tough challenge, to unpick the impact of government policy on a diverse supply chain in a dynamic sector. With the help of deep engagement with industry, we have for the first time separated a range of different policy drivers and quantified their impact on each of the key areas of that supply chain.
“We hope that in being robust and transparent, we will provide real substance into the discussion between industry and governments, as they work together to establish a way forward for cost effective energy generation in Northern Europe.”
Project director, Bruce Valpy, said: “The offshore wind industry has long said that visibility and confidence have a huge impact on investment and cost reduction. Here is the industry’s best attempt at providing the evidence.
“A strong relationship between a growing industry and governments wanting low-cost, low-carbon, home-grown energy and strong local benefit can achieve a great deal. We are committed to helping both sides grow that relationship.”
By Elizabeth Barminski
The Northeast Wind Resource Center (NWRC) published three analytical reports on November 2nd as part of the Roadmap for Multi-State Cooperation on Offshore Wind Development. The NWRC is a collaboration between Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island working on creating a regional offshore wind roadmap funded by a DOE grant awarded to NYSERDA in 2015. Over the past month, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has hosted 2 webinars moderated by Val Stori, Clean Energy State Alliance, featuring presentations from the authors the reports.
Doreen Harris, NYSERDA, presented an overview of the Roadmap for Multi-State Cooperation on Offshore Wind Development coordinated by the Clean Energy States Alliance with participation from NYSERDA, MassCEC, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. The New York Offshore Wind Master Plan outlines the state’s commitment to develop 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030. Massachusetts Governor Baker signed offshore wind legislation in August 2016 required utilities to solicit 1,600 MW OSW between 2017-2027. In Rhode Island, research from the Block Island Wind Farm was presented at the Southern New England Offshore Wind Energy Science Forum and the Department of Environmental Management is active in the regional offshore wind projects.
The Northeast Offshore Wind Regional Market Characterization report was presented by Bob Grace and Jordan Shoesmith from Sustainable Energy Advantage. The objective of the report was to develop an estimated range of potential offshore wind deployment by 2030 in the Northeast region. The report focused on four areas: OSW Development Potential and Constraints, Potential Demand for OSW – Market Factors, Potential Demand for OSW – State & Regional Policies and Plans, and Market Assessment. The results of the report are demonstrated in Regional OSW Deployment Trajectories for both a high and low regional offshore wind deployment by 2030. The researchers studied three analytical components of the trajectories: OSW Characteristics, Electric System and Market Components, and State and Regional Policies and Plans. Within each component major factors were analyzed to identify the constraining factors of the component. The data from the components was combined to create the high and low Regional OSW Deployment Trajectories with a range from 4,030 MW to 7,700 MW by 2030.
The U.S. Job Creation in Offshore Wind report was presented by Alun Roberts from BVG Associates. The purpose of the report is to quantify the job impacts of offshore wind development in the Northeast by 2030 based on both a 4GW and 8GW market. To estimate the total number of offshore wind jobs the researchers isolated the payroll which accounts for 40% of the cost of an offshore wind farm. The report shows the total job creation from each element of the supply chain resulting in maximum of 499,070 jobs in an 8GW market and 248,580 jobs in a 4GW market through 2030. The researchers then analyzed the probability of US jobs for each element of the supply chain – demonstrating that the 8GW market scenario will provide a medium probability of the US delivering all parts of the offshore wind supply chain compared to the low probability in the 4GW market scenario.
The Roadmap for Multi-State Cooperation on Offshore Wind Development reports provide an important analysis of the current U.S. offshore wind market and the potential of the industry in the near future.
By Elizabeth Barminski
Last Thursday the Virginia & North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force met in Virginia Beach to discuss the current status of the region’s offshore wind leases. Jim Bennet, BOEM, provided an overview of the Atlantic Renewable Energy Leasing Program, highlighting the benefits and the incredible potential in the region. John Warren from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) commented on the offshore wind potential and the corresponding demand for electricity along the East Coast. Jennifer Mudd, the head of the North Carolina Task Force, offered opening comments about the value of the offshore wind resource.
Casey Reeves, BOEM, started the presentations with an overview of lease activities offshore North Carolina and Virginia – the NC Kitty Hawk Lease to Avangrid Renewables, VA Lease to Orsted, and the VA Research Lease to the VA Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. Will Waskes, BOEM, presented on the NC Kitty Hawk Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 7. Avangrid Renewables won the auction in March 2017 and the post auction process initiated November 1st 2017 beginning the preliminary term. Craig Poff and Keith Morrison, Avangrid Renewables, shared an overview of the company’s investments in the US market, noting the existing strong presence in North Carolina with the Amazon Wind Farm. Avangrid is preparing to submit a SAP on November 1st 2018 deadline, which will conclude the first year of the site assessment 5-year plan. Task force members inquired about the company’s outreach to environmental consultants, which Avangrid explained they plan to sign contracts in the next quarter. Will Waskes, BOEM, then provided an overview of the Kitty Hawk Project timeline – mentioning the 4.5-year period to submit a COP to BOEM after the SAP approval. Task force members asked questions about the interface between federal and state waters in terms of site assessment, which in most cases the state requirements will be exceeded by the BOEM requirements. Algene Byrum, BOEM NEPA Coordinator, addressed a question about NEPA analysis before and after leasing, explaining that the SAP submitted by the developer will be evaluated against the NEPA environmental assessment and a 2 nd EA will occur before approval of construction if necessary.
Steven Pietryk, Dominion Energy, and Myles Daniel, Orsted, presented on the VA Commercial and Research Leases. The commercial lease held by Dominion Energy SAP was recently approved on October 12th initiating the 4.5-year COP submittal deadline. Dominion Energy and Orsted announced a partnership for developing the research lease to VA DMME in July. The team is addressing restrictions and compliance issues including the sea turtle nesting season and RAP approval conditions. Dominion also proposed project modifications – planning to use a 6MW turbine with option for power boost and a monopile foundation. The next steps for the project is to submit a RAP amendment, update or obtain additional permits, UXO surveys, and draft a facility design report. The commercial operation date target is 2020. Starting the 4.5- year assessment Dominion plans to deploy a met buoy early next year. Casey Reeves, BOEM, highlighted the continuation of stakeholder outreach and data gathering during this transparent review process. Dan O’Connell, BOEM, presented the technical modifications review, focusing on foundations, scour, sand wave hazard and mitigation, and design standards. Algene Byrum, BOEM NEPA Coordinator, discussed the RAP modification review. The evaluation of revisions to RAP requires determining if the proposed activities are authorized under the existing proposal. Bob Matthias provided an update from the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority (VOWDA). VOWDA is focused on supply chain initiatives with the potential for local foundation fabrication for mid-Atlantic commercial OSW market in Hampton Roads which would diversify the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. Ken Jurman and George Hagerman provided an update on research activities. A recent study by NREL on simulation of wind plant layout and control shows how turbine orientation can be adjusted to increase optimum electricity generation. The research team also addressed the need for a new reference met mast to replace the Chesapeake Light Tower.
For the first time, Mary Boatman from BOEM presented data from the Real-time Opportunity for Development Environmental Observations (RODEO) project from Block Island Wind Farm. The project goal was to collect real-time measurements during each phase of the project. RODEO offers data on air quality, sound, seafloor disturbance, scour, submarine cable installation, and visual impact. BOEM addressed action items to ensure the success of the task force. Prior to the meeting, CBI conducted a survey on behalf of BOEM to identify the challenges the task force faces. To address the challenges BOEM plans to maintain consistent contact with task forces by publishing meeting summaries and hosting 1-2 meetings per year possibly by webinar. Additionally, BOEM will invite neighboring states to task force meetings to incorporate regional perspectives. Task force members requested an outline of the post-leasing role for the task force so BOEM plans to work with the task force to identify discussion points. BOEM will work effort to enhance stakeholder outreach engagement and increase transparency of decision making by closing the loop on questions and concerns at meetings.
Earlier this year, European offshore geoscience and geotechnical engineering consultancy Cathie Associates opened the doors to its first U.S. office in Boston. They have since opened an office in Houston, TX allowing proximity to the offshore wind development supply chain as well as their O&G service lines.
As an international leader, Cathie Associates provides geotechnical, geophysical and engineering consultancy services to the oil, gas, ports, subsea power and renewable energy industries.
Although just entering the U.S. market, Cathie Associates is not new to wind energy, having been involved in the development of over 100 offshore wind projects, globally, from Taiwan, through Europe and in the U.S.
Sean McDonald, appointed Vice President of US Operations in August, brings to the company his vast experience in marine geotechnical engineering. Prior to joining Cathie Associates McDonald worked as a contractor and independent consultant for clients in the Americas, Africa and Europe. Notably, he assisted in the development of the London Array wind farm project, which “set a new record for the amount of clean electricity produced by an offshore wind farm in a single calendar month” with its 175 turbines in 2015. Mr. McDonald was also appointed to the Technip USA College of Experts in marine geotechnics in 2013.
Mr. McDonald also has about twelve years of directly applicable experience in the Oil & Gas sector, and has worked on this front in Texas, GoM, southern Virginia, eastern Canada, North Sea, Australia and Kazakhstan, just to mention a few.
Mr. McDonald has predominantly U.S.-based geotechnical engineering background closely aligns with the consultancy services that Cathie Associates has offered its clients in the UK and Europe since 2008. They provide desktop studies and survey/data management; geotechnical engineering, by way of specialized foundation design, research, numerical analysis and software design – including software packages: OPILE-pile design, CAISSON-suction pile design, JACA-jackup leg penetration assessment, and much more.
With robust knowledge of subsea cable engineering and burial risk assessment, Cathie provides route corridor selection and refinement, seabed risk management, and trenching development and installation oversight, according to their renewables brochure, which is available on their website.
“Cathie Associates has been keeping an eye on the renewable sector in the U.S. for a number of years,” McDonald said. “Considering that our existing clients like [Orsted], Vineyard Wind [and others] are starting to pull the trigger on their own developments, it makes sense that we would strengthen our commitment to our U.S. clients now.”
Cathie Associates chose to establish their U.S. office in Boston for that very purpose.
“There are a number of wind farm developers with European roots who want to be set up [in Boston],” McDonald said. “New England is the heartland of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. We wanted to be close to the people we want to rely on us for engineering and consultancy work.”
Cathie Associates and McDonald have learned lessons from their respective work in the European market.
“The industry in the US is a burgeoning industry,” McDonald said. “I understand that [the US] would like to rely on its own scientists and engineers to propagate that. However, our European colleagues have been doing this for the better part of 25 years; we should work and learn collaboratively with our European counterparts.” He added, “It’s important that we look at the developments of Europe because we could run into the same issues here. But aside from the methodologies, codes and protocols from the entire development, I think we have a lot to learn.”
McDonald, for his part, has worked with Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind and researched studies for Statoil before joining Cathie Associates. Recently, he has contributed to the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM’s) study “Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigation Methodology Assessment for Siting Renewable Energy Facilities on the Atlantic OCS,” which assesses “the various methodologies and equipment choices for providing site investigations that identify shallow hazards, geologic hazards, biological conditions, geotechnical properties, and archaeological resources” built upon “decades of experience accumulated by the O&G industry offshore,” according to the study.
Among other projects, Cathie has notably worked on LEEDCo’s Icebreaker Wind project, offering their expertise on “integrated ground models, advanced foundation design models, and looking at ways to save [their] clients’ money,” according to McDonald.
McDonald acknowledged offshore wind’s “complexity” compared to onshore wind development, stating that developers can benefit from the “extra value that comes from [Cathie’s] years of experience working on similar projects in Europe, and throughout the rest of the world.”
“One of the unique aspects of what Cathie brings to the table is that we don’t just do renewables; we have diversified experience in O&G and offer specialized services to solve clients’ project problems,” McDonald said. “The wind industry parallels what’s being done in O&G with respect to foundation design. That’s an important avenue of our experience which cannot be understated. [Cathie has experience in] subsea structures and foundation designs for O&G clients, around the world. That experience alone is more than your standard New England engineering firm can offer.”
To learn more about Cathie Associates, visit their website.
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REDUCING INVESTMENT RISK IN THE DEVELOPING US OSW MARKET
Houston, United States – October 19, 2017 – In 2008 the European Offshore Wind market had a desperate need for new installation equipment as the older civil construction jack-ups were much too small. Since history seems to repeat itself in the emerging US offshore wind market, GustoMSC introduced specific US jack-up designs earlier this year. Now this reputable design & engineering company complements the series of Jones Act compliant installation units with an economical alternative for safe and efficient wind turbine installation in the US: the SEA-3250-LT installation jack-up. Read full press release and access the product information sheet here.
Seajacks’ wind farm installation vessel, Seajacks Scylla, has arrived in Belfast and is being loaded with the first batch of turbine components to be installed at the 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm, DONG Energy told Offshore WIND.
“Seajacks Scylla arrived at the Walney Extension feeding harbour in Belfast on time and loading is progressing as planned. We expect installation of the first MHI Vestas 8.25 MW turbine to begin over the coming week,” Andrew Cotterell, Walney Extension programme director, said.
Walney Extension will consist of 40 8.25MW MHI Vestas and 47 7MW Siemens wind turbines, as well as two offshore substations, installed some 19 kilometres off the Cumbrian coast. Seajacks Scylla will install all 87 wind turbine units at the wind farm.
When fully commissioned in 2019, Walney Extension will become the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm.
Baltimore, June 20, 2017 – Seatower AS was today announced as winner of the 2017 EURELECTRIC Industry and Innovation Award.
“It is a great honor for the Seatower team to accept this award,” said Petter Karal, CEO and co-founder of Seatower. “The EURELECTRIC conference is regarded as the leading industry event for electricification in Europe, and our cranefree foundation has been voted by industry leaders to be leading edge to ensure driving cost down in the offshore wind industry in the coming years.”
The first Seatower Cranefree Gravity foundation for offshore wind was successfully installed in the British Channel approximately 15 km off the French coast at 30 meters water depth.
“EURELECTRIC highlighted new technologies that facilitate innovation in the value chain and I am excited to contribute with our technology in these developments and facilitate the transition that the energy sector is currently facing,” Karal said.
The Seatower design is a commercial cost-effective solution perfect for larger turbines. Installation of the self-installing foundation can happen also during winter time and in harsh offshore conditions, which is one of several advantages that reduce the total cost of igravity-based foundations.
In addition to the industry award, the EURELECTRIC Student Award went to Maria-Ruxandra Luca, a student at the Faculty of Power Engineering, University Politechnica of Bucharest for the best video creation on the topic of electrification. Ms. Luca’s video entry was on vehicle to grid (V2G) technology.
Last year, offshore wind analysts MEC Intelligence released a revised study comparing various offshore wind foundations. This study found that Seatower’s Cranefree foundation is the lowest cost option for offshore wind turbines from 8 MW and up–the size category that will soon become the industry norm.
To read the MEC Intelligence Report, visit: www.mecintelligence.com.
A video explaining fabrication and installation methods is available here.
Seaproof Solutions, high quality supplier of cable protection systems (CPS) for offshore windfarms, has been awarded a contract to supply its CPS for DONG Energy’s 1.2GW Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm in the UK.
The windfarm is expected to become the world’s biggest windfarm. It will be located 120km off the Yorkshire Coast in UK.
The contract was awarded by DONG Energy Wind Power and covers the design and supply of 248 cable protection systems for the inner array grid submarine cables.
This is the 13th offshore wind farm project for Seaproof Solutions, taking the total number of cable protection systems supplied to more than 1000 units.
Henrik Bang-Andreasen, Founder and CEO at Seaproof Solutions said: “We are honored that DONG Energy Wind Power has chosen Seaproof Solutions Cable Protection Systems for the Hornsea Project One offshore windfarm project.
Supporting DONG Energy Wind Power in this project is an important step for Seaproof in reaching cost effective, reliable and innovative solutions for offshore wind. Furthermore, the award is living proof that Seaproof Solutions is providing the market with highly competitive and attractive products.”
With more than 25 years’ experience, Seaproof Solutions is specialist in protection systems for subsea cable, umbilical and flexible pipe, dedicated to the offshore wind, oil & gas and all offshore applications.
For more information about Seaproof Solutions, please visit www.seaproof.com