Microsoft has signed a ten-year agreement to power its international data centre operations in the Netherlands, with Vattenfall. The deal is the largest in the sector – based entirely on wind power. Production at the Wieringermeer Wind Farm, Netherlands is due to start from 2019. “Investing in local clean energy to power our local data centre is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands. Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our data centres,” said Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft. The Wind Farm will eventually include 100 windmills, producing approximately 1.3 TWh of renewable electricity, comparable to the consumption of around 370,000 households.
ABB technology is supporting the development of new smart solar power systems for the city of Dubai, UAE. Dubai Electric & Water Authority (DEWA) is using the ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control System to help develop data-driven strategies that maximize year-round solar energy production as part of the Smart Dubai initiative. “We seek to promote Dubai as a smart, sustainable, and integrated city with a high-tech infrastructure to support social and economic development, as well as promote sustainable use of resources by ensuring best practices in consumption, efficiency and governance,” said his Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
Amazon has announced that its largest wind farm yet—Amazon Wind Farm Texas—is now up and running, adding more than 1,000,000 MWh of clean energy to the grid each year. In total, Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar projects across the US, with over 35 more to come. Together, they will generate enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually. The Farm includes more than 100 turbines – each over 300 feet tall with a rotor diameter more than twice the wingspan of a Boeing 787. It is built, owned, and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE).
Construction is commencing on Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm, the 406 MW Horns Rev 3. Vattenfall won the contract for its construction in 2015 and is installing the first of a total of 49 foundations in the North Sea. It is the first time in five years that an offshore wind farm will be built in Denmark and when Horns Rev 3 is complete, it will provide enough power to satisfy the annual electricity consumption of 425,000 Danish households. The 8.3 MW turbines are 187 metres high and have a rotor diameter of 164 metres. They are manufactured by MHI Vestas and are today one of the world’s most powerful wind turbines.
The private sector accounts for around half of the electricity consumption in Europe. Powering corporate consumers with renewable energy could deliver massive reductions in CO2 emissions, save businesses money and make it easier for people to invest in renewables. Large energy consumers such as chemical and aluminium producers, ICT and food & drink companies gathered recently in Brussels with renewable energy producers to consider how to unlock this potential. The RE-Source 2017 event brought together industry leaders such as Google, Mars, IKEA and Alcoa with energy players EDF Energies Nouvelles, ENEL Green Power, Envision and Vestas with policymakers.
Ministers and officials representing 30 countries and organizations met in Malé, Maldives, signalling the determination of small island developing states (SIDS) to strengthen global efforts to address climate change and accelerate renewable energy deployment. “In the wake of a deadly hurricane season in the Caribbean and at a time when the resolve to tackle the climate crisis has been called into question, small islands are sending the world a clear message: we are seizing the promise of renewable energy to grow our economies today and build a better future for tomorrow,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, Energy and Environment Minister for the Maldives and Chair of Alliance of Small Island States.
The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed.
During the auction held recently by the Brazilian Federal Government, ENGIE won concession contracts for two hydropower plants (HPP) for a total amount of around €950m (BRL3.531bn). The Jaguara HPP, located in Rio Grande (between the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo), with a 424 MW installed capacity and the Miranda HPP, located in Rio Aragui, in Indianápolis (Minas Gerais State), with a 408 MW installed capacity. The concession contracts are signed for a 30-year period. They raise the installed capacity of ENGIE from 10,290 MW to 11,122 MW and reinforce ENGIE’s position as the largest private energy producer in Brazil.
The Bungala Solar One facility is part of the Bungala Solar PV Project and will have an installed capacity of 137.7 MW out of a total of more than 275 MW for the whole project, that will be able to produce 570 GWh per year. The facility will cover an area of approximately 300 hectares and will consist of about 420,000 polycrystalline PV modules mounted on single-axis tracker structures which will follow the Sun’s path from east to west; increasing the amount of energy produced by the plant, compared to PV modules with fixed structures. The overall Bungala Solar PV project is expected to become fully operational in early 2019.
The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project will produce enough low-carbon electricity to power approximately 34,000 UK households, using 8.0MW wind turbines with a power mode uprating them to 8.3MW. It will save around 57,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and is the first offshore wind project to connect using 66kv rated cables. It’s also the first time that a “float and submerge” gravity-based foundation (GBF) has been used for offshore wind turbines. Each GBF is made up of more than 1,800m3 of concrete and weighs over 15,000 tonnes when fully installed on the seabed, and the structures have a total height of around 60 metres from the base to the access platform.
California Governor Jerry Brown signs into law two bills that significantly strengthen Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for homeowners and communities. Renovate America, the nation’s largest PACE provider, has hailed Governor Jerry Brown’s signing into law of two bills that provide a landmark regulatory and consumer protection framework for PACE. “Across 150,000 California homes, PACE has already saved enough energy to power the United States for over a day – and this legislation provides the regulatory and underwriting framework to ensure it’s a responsible choice for hundreds of thousands more homes and families,” said Ari Matusiak, Chief Strategy Officer at Renovate America.