Macarthur Wind Farm Incident
A person has been injured at Vestas Leighton Contractors wind farm construction site of the AGL and Meridian Macarthur wind farm in VIC.
Paramedics were alerted at 2pm and Bendigo’s Hems-3 air ambulance flew the 24-year-old man from the wind farm, owned by energy provider AGL, to the Warrnambool Base Hospital with chest, shoulder and head injuries.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi, will suspend construction of its wind turbine manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas because of sluggish demand in the U.S.
The price of wind turbines fell 4 percent in the second half of last year from the previous six months to 910,000 euros (US$1.2 million) a megawatt, the lowest since at least 2008.
AGL Energy acquires the Silverton wind farm project, in a clear sign it expects an improvement in the climate for renewable energy investments.
The energy generator and retailer bought the development rights for a potential 1000-megawatt wind farm north-west of Broken Hill that could cost $2.5 billion to develop in full, according to The Australian Financial Review.
AGL acquired the Silverton venture from Germany’s Epuron and Macquarie Capital Wind Fund for an undisclosed sum. The project already has planning approval for an initial 282 wind turbines involving 300 megawatts of capacity. Construction of this stage, which Deutsche Bank says may cost $750 million, could start next year, AGL said.
Final approval is yet to be secured for subsequent phases, involving a further 316 turbines, which could be subject to stricter planning regulations in NSW for wind projects.
Vestas said a V112 3.0-megawatt turbine caught fire at the Gross Eilstorf wind farm in Lower Saxony, Germany. No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze, which was burning out under “controlled conditions,” hasn’t been determined.
Suzlon Energy’s ability to repay US$700 million of debt may be worse than expected after U.S. customer Edison International said the earliest it can pay off a contract with the turbine-maker is next year.
Suzlon, the third-biggest wind-turbine maker by sales, said last month that it hoped to recoup a $206 million payment from Edison before June when the first of its foreign-currency convertible bonds matures.
“Suzlon’s cash crunch seems more severe than expected,” Charanjit Singh, alternative energy analyst in Bangalore for HSBC Bank Plc, said yesterday. Singh estimates the company may fall short by as much as 30 billion rupees ($592 million) in repaying $700 million of debt due over the next 12 months.
The payment issue centers over Edison’s 240-megawatt Big Sky wind farm in Illinois, financed by Suzlon with a loan in October 2009 that has a “final maturity” in 2014, according to its Feb. 29 filing. Early repayment could happen “as early as February 2013,” Edison said.
Suzlon may seek options to raise cash such as selling a stake in other businesses or getting dividends or advances from Repower, Singh said yesterday. Suzlon can’t tap 750 million euros in financing raised by Repower on Feb. 29 to pay off debt, Repower said in an e-mail last week to Bloomberg News.
Waikato Wind Farm
A decline in demand for electricity in NZ has put on hold plans to construct Waikato’s largest wind farm. Contact Energy won consent to build the Hauauru ma raki (HMR) wind farm along the Waikato west coast in May last year but yesterday said it could be years before development begins.
Spokeswoman Janet Carson said electricity demand had dampened over the past three years and the outlook for wind development was not economic.
With three wind farms currently consented for Waikato, and Te Uku wind farm near Raglan already operational, Mr Pyle said the region was a driving force for wind energy.
“The Waikato coast – you’ve got Te Uku there – and what that farm is showing is there’s a tremendous wind resource on that coast. It’s a good consistent wind. It’s certainly one area of the country that’s had a lot of attention.”
Contact Energy’s wind farm site runs from south of Port Waikato to Te Akau. Should the project go ahead as intended, HMR wind farm would generate up to 504 megawatts of power from 168 turbines, providing power to around 170,000 homes. Contact Energy expected it would generate about $180 million of regional income, including $115m of household income over the five-year construction period. It would also create an estimated 1033 jobs once operational.
Two other wind farms – Taumatatotara and Taharoa –have been consented for development south of Kawhia Harbour.
Can Risk Be Designed Out of Wind Energy O&M?
$40billion worth of turbines will come out of their warranty period in 2012, or to put it another way somewhere between 20,000-40,000 turbines will need their future O&M strategy accounted for reported by wind energy update.
Wind Energy Update report that regardless of the outcome for the PTC, Utilities and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) who own assets operating in North America will have to closely evaluate their Wind Farm aftercare strategies in a constant effort to lower operational expenditure (OPEX).
Power generation and consequently selling that power has, and always will be, an energy company’s prime directive. Efforts to increase yield or reduce downtime (scheduled or unscheduled) are already forefront in wind energy operators business plans.
But the options for maintenance are not equal. As Wind Energy Update’s recent end of Warranty wind farm O&M options report states “Corrective maintenance of gearboxes often takes 14 more days than preventative maintenance!”. That is potentially two weeks additional lost revenue, and something which can be avoided through implementing a low-risk O&M strategy.
By taking the time to gather useful data, talk and share studies of operational success a business has a far greater chance to identify not only as many end of warranty options, service providers and products by also to establish the ones right for them.
A decision to turn off night aviation lighting on the Waubra Wind Farm has been met with relief from residents who live nearby.
The lights are fitted to 48 of the 128 turbines in the wind farm and were originally used as a precautionary measure to ensure air safety for planes. But the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) has recently advised the lights are no longer required, and Minister for Planning Matthew Guy has given his consent to turn them off.
The request to turn the lights off was made by the wind farm operator Acciona, and it is now up to them to decide when that occurs.