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Review of 2015, part one

WORLDWIDE: Windpower Monthly recaps the most read and most important wind-energy stories from the magazine and website January to June 2015.

  • JANUARY: Siemens holds a ground breaking ceremony at its Green Port Hull facility in the UK. UK energy minister Ed Davey attended the event

    JANUARY: Siemens holds a ground breaking ceremony at its Green Port Hull facility in the UK. UK energy minister Ed Davey attended the event

  • MAY: A piling template is removed at Iberdrola's Wikinger site following tests

    MAY: A piling template is removed at Iberdrola's Wikinger site following tests

  • MAY: Construction of the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore project began in 2015 in the Netherlands

    MAY: Construction of the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore project began in 2015 in the Netherlands

  • JUNE: Siemens chartered two specially designed Esvagt SOVs for use in the Baltic and North Seas

    JUNE: Siemens chartered two specially designed Esvagt SOVs for use in the Baltic and North Seas

  • JULY: Universal Foundation's (UF) monobucket prototype was decommissioned from Horns Rev 2 - UF said the seabed was left unmarked (pic: DBB Jack up services)

    JULY: Universal Foundation's (UF) monobucket prototype was decommissioned from Horns Rev 2 - UF said the seabed was left unmarked (pic: DBB Jack up services)

  • JULY: The US offshore industry kicks off in 2015, the the start of construction at Deepwater Wind's 30MW Block Island project

    JULY: The US offshore industry kicks off in 2015, the the start of construction at Deepwater Wind's 30MW Block Island project

  • JULY: Moventas showed how it carburises their components to ensure a wear-free surface

    JULY: Moventas showed how it carburises their components to ensure a wear-free surface

  • AUGUST: TimberTower demonstrates a prototype of a wooden turbine tower that could be 20% cheaper compared to concrete-steel hybrid towers, the firm claims

    AUGUST: TimberTower demonstrates a prototype of a wooden turbine tower that could be 20% cheaper compared to concrete-steel hybrid towers, the firm claims

  • AUGUST: Blade Dynamic's 78-metre modular blade arrives in the UK for testing. Here, it passes a turbine with a 50.8-metre blade

    AUGUST: Blade Dynamic's 78-metre modular blade arrives in the UK for testing. Here, it passes a turbine with a 50.8-metre blade

  • OCTOBER: Dong Energy used 30 cubic metres of popcorn in an exercise at Borkum Riffgrund 1 - popcorn acts similarly to oil in water

    OCTOBER: Dong Energy used 30 cubic metres of popcorn in an exercise at Borkum Riffgrund 1 - popcorn acts similarly to oil in water

  • NOVEMBER: Hongkong CIMC International delivers wind turbine blades to the top of Baoding mountain, 2,900m high, in China

    NOVEMBER: Hongkong CIMC International delivers wind turbine blades to the top of Baoding mountain, 2,900m high, in China

  • NOVEMBER: Enercon's 7.5MW turbines beside the original WindMaster 300kW turbines at RWE Innogy's 90MW Zuidwester project in the Netherlands  (pic: Klaas Eissens)

    NOVEMBER: Enercon's 7.5MW turbines beside the original WindMaster 300kW turbines at RWE Innogy's 90MW Zuidwester project in the Netherlands (pic: Klaas Eissens)

  • NOVEMBER: Decomissioning of Vattenfall's 10MW Yttre Stengrund offshore project begins

    NOVEMBER: Decomissioning of Vattenfall's 10MW Yttre Stengrund offshore project begins

  • DECEMBER: French foreign minister Laurent Fabius (centre) celebrates the agreement of the COP21 climate change deal in Paris

    DECEMBER: French foreign minister Laurent Fabius (centre) celebrates the agreement of the COP21 climate change deal in Paris

  • DECEMBER: The first foundations are sailed out to the Nordsee One site off the coast of Germany

    DECEMBER: The first foundations are sailed out to the Nordsee One site off the coast of Germany

of

January

A 20MW project in Northern Ireland is shut down following the collapse of one of its Nordex N80 2.5MW turbines. According to reports, the turbine's blades were "spinning out of control" prior to the collapse.

Germany, Denmark and the UK post new records for wind's contribution to their electricity production. Denmark's energy ministry released figures showing that 39.1% of its electricity in 2014 came from wind.

A blow for the US' offshore industry as the future of the 486MW Cape Wind offshore project off the coast of Massachussets is put "on life support". The PPAs for over three-quarters of the project power are terminated because of a missed deadline for financial close.

 

February

Sinovel's vice president Chen Danghui complains that many of its turbines are languishing in warehouses as China's offshore sector struggles to take off. Chen also says the company's 5MW prototype is operating with an availability rate exceeding 99%.

By contrast, Alstom announces that it is ready to start serial production of its 6MW Haliade turbine, already selected for three French offshore projects totalling nearly 1.5GW.

Dong Energy chooses the new MHI Vestas V164-8MW turbine for the first phase of the 660MW Walney Extension project. Siemens would be chosen to supply its 7MW turbine to the second phase. 

 

March

Make Consulting names Siemens as the world's number one OEM in terms of installations during 2014 with a 10.8% market share. But BTM Navigant, which uses slightly different criteria, puts Vestas on top with 12.3%.

Further details emerge of how GE intends to absorb Alstom Wind within its turbine-making operation, while the new offshore joint venture between Areva and Gamesa is named Adwen.

 

April

US private equity firm Centerbridge Partners has completed the acquisition of manufacturer Senvion from Suzlon Group.

A record year for wind installation is recorded by GWEC with 51.4GW of new capacity in 2014, up 44% on 2013's disappointing 35.7GW.

The lowest wind speeds in nearly half a century cut wind power output across western US. Texas, California, and parts of the Midwest are particularly hard hit given their large concentration of operating wind assets.

 

May

Wind turbine rotor blades fail at a rate of around 3,800 a year, an annual casualty rate of 0.54%, according to figures released by insurance underwriter GCube. Blade failures are the primary cause of insurance claims in the US onshore market. They account for over 40% of claims, ahead of gearboxes (35%) and generators (10%).

Tense talks between the UK government and Siemens over an offshore assembly facility at Green Port Hull are revealed by Windpower Monthly's Freedom of Information request.

The US acquires an appetite for onshore mega-projects to take advantage of economies of scale and good wind resources in the wide open west.

 

June

GE unveils a prototype rotor with a large dome attached to the front. "It almost looks as if a UFO got stuck on the face," says a GE executive. The 'ecoROTR' dome deflects the wind towards the blade tips, boosting the amount of energy the turbine can harvest.

Gamesa announces plans to launch a 3.3MW onshore machine targeting Europe, Mexico, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The model will be formally launched at the EWEA 2015 event in Paris in November.

A blade on a Senvion 6.15MW turbine breaks off at RWE's 295MW Nordsee Ost project. All 48 turbines are shut down following the blade failure at turbine number 17.

 

Keep an eye out for part two of the Windpower Monthly's 'Review of 2015' on New Years Eve.

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