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Review of 2015, part two

WORLDWIDE: The most read and most important wind-energy stories from the magazine and website July to December 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

July

Windpower Monthly looks at ten of the biggest and best turbine manufacturers. Each company's strategy and turbine portfolio is analysed to discover what makes them a leading OEM.

Siemens wins a UK High Court case against Enercon in a patent dispute. Enercon-owner Wobben Properties argued Siemens' storm control system found in its 6MW offshore turbines infringed upon its 1996 patent.

Windpower Monthly is shown around the Blade Dynamics facility in New Orleans, where the company was putting the finishing touches to its 78-metre modular blade prototype. The blade would be shipped to the UK in August for testing at the ORE Catapult test site in Blyth.

August

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries installs its 7MW turbine on a floating platform off Fukushima, Japan. The rotor's hub stands 105 meters above sea level, and the topmost height of the turbine is 188.5 metres.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) releases figures showing the price of wind had fallen 66% since 2009 to a record low of $0.02/kWh. Wind turbine prices fell 20-40% since 2008 and projects built in 2014 had an average installed cost of $1,710/kW, nearly $600 less per kilowatt than during the peak in 2009 and 2010.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' 7MW turbine on a floating platform off Japan

September

Ahead of the Husum Wind 2015 event, taking place in Germany in September, Windpower Monthly gets an exclusive look at Vestas' new V136-3.45MW low-wind turbine. The latest edition of the platform incorporated a new 66.7-metre blade and a wider and taller tower, suitable for low wind conditions.

Vestas' turbine is one of four new low-wind turbines in the 3MW+ range to be launched at Husum Wind 2015. GE's 3.2MW-130, Nordex's N131 3.3MW, and Senvion's 3.4MW with a 140-metre rotor are all launched at the event in Germany.

October

GE announces the surprise takeover of component manufacturer Blade Dynamics. "Modular blades offer scalable blade architecture, enabling lower-cost manufacturing methods and a more cost-effective long-term solution for logistics challenges associated with transporting current blade technology," GE said.

Germany's Nordex announces it will acquire Spanish manufacturer Acciona Windpower (AWP). In the €785 million deal, stock-listed Nordex acquires AWP for €366 million cash and 16.6 million in Nordex shares (valued at €419 million). AWP becomes a subsidiary of Nordex. In return, Spain's stock-listed Acciona Group becomes Nordex's single biggest shareholder, with a 29.9% stake.

Turbine blades are transported to the 2.9km peak of Baoding mountain in China

November

GE completes its acquisition of Alstom's power and grid business, following the €12.35 billion agreement announced in 2014. The final purchase now amounts to €9.7 billion, due to changes to the deal and currency exchange rates, according to GE.

Windpower Monthly's gallery features transport firm Hongkong CIMC International delivering 90 wind turbine blades to the top of Baoding mountain, 2,900m high, in the Chinese province of Yunnan.

Vestas launches the second evolution of its 3MW turbine platform at the EWEA 2015 event in Paris. Nominal rating for the four existing models raises from 3.3MW to 3.45MW, and they have been upgraded in terms of IEC Class too.

December

Vattenfall begins decommissioning of its 14-year old Yttre Stengrund 10MW offshore project in Sweden. The 14-year old Swedish offshore project uses five 2MW Neg Micon turbines although only one turbine was in operation when th edecision to dismantle the project was taken in September 2014. Decommissioning is deemed the most economical option.

Preliminary results of an investigation into a turbine collapse in France indicates a fault in the machine's shaft caused the rotor to fall to the ground. On 10 November, the rotor sheared off a Repower MD77-1500kW turbine at Menil-la-Horgne, in the Meuse department of north-east France.

Vestas acquires US project service provider UpWind Solutions in a $60 million deal.

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