Jan 29, 2021

EDF Renewables unveils phase 2 of Blyth Offshore project

Renewables
Offshore
Wind
Dominic Ellis
3 min
EDF Renewables plans to build phase 2 of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm off the coast of Northumberland using floating offshore wind technology
EDF Renewables plans to build phase 2 of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm off the coast of Northumberland using floating offshore wind technolo...

EDF Renewables plans to build phase two of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator (BOD) wind farm off the coast of Northumberland using floating offshore wind technology. 

The capacity for phase two has still to be finalised but the current consent for BOD wind farm is for a maximum of 99.9MW, leaving a remaining capacity of 58.4MW.

The first phase of the wind farm, consisting of five wind turbines, was built in 2017. It has a generating capacity of 41.5MW and the first UK offshore wind farm to utilise float and submerge gravity base foundations, as well as 66KV rated inter array and export cables to connect the turbines to an onshore substation.

EDF Renewables is already working on project planning for phase two with a consent variation and procurement activities underway to use the Blyth site for the installation of up to five more turbines, in an already identified location 14kms offshore in depths of around 55 metres. On completion, it would be among the first projects of this kind in English waters.

The turbines to be installed in the BOD Phase two project will be constructed on floating sub structures. The project has yet to select the key contractors including the turbine supplier but a range of floating technology options are being considered, with the final design still to be determined by further detailed engineering studies.

A key requirement of the project is to demonstrate new and innovative technologies that have potential to reduce the cost of offshore wind (floating and fixed) developments in the future. As a result, EDF Renewables is working closely with suppliers and research organisations including the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to ensure these technologies and approaches are fully explored and incorporated where appropriate.

Director of Offshore wind at EDF Renewables, Michele Schiavone said: "We are very excited about this next phase of the BOD project and want to further the demonstration of construction and operation of floating turbines to show that floating wind is technically feasible and cost competitive in water depths of 50-60 metres.

"With the Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism providing a potential route to market, we are confident that floating turbine technology can accelerate the UK’s journey to a net zero future where clean energy powers all our lives. We will use the project to support the further development of this emerging technology.

“We are ambitious when it comes to offshore wind and already have two operational offshore wind sites at Blyth and Teesside. We are currently working on our 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in the Firth of Forth in Scotland (a joint venture with ESB) and our Irish Codling project (a joint venture with Fred.Olsen Renewables) which will have a capacity of up to 1.5GW."

The development timescale for BOD phase two has not yet been finalised. However, subject to detailed programming, the target is for it to be fully commissioned by Spring 2025.

In a recent video update on the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, EDF Managing Director Stuart Crooks said 18 of its 20 milestones had been reached last year but estimates three months were lost owing to the pandemic "and we could lose up to three more months in 2021". The first 3.5km tunnel for the cooling water was completed just before Christmas (click here).

Share article

Jun 22, 2021

Next Energy Technologies delivers PV window to Paris partner

Windows
SolarPV
construction
Paris
Dominic Ellis
4 min
Next Energy Technologies has delivered its energy-generating prototype window wall to Bouygues Construction in Paris

Next Energy Technologies, makers of a proprietary transparent PV coating that transforms commercial windows into energy producing solar panels, has delivered its PV Prototype Window Wall to Bouygues Construction in Paris.

Bouygues is a leading construction firm that specialises in complex commercial projects and the deal comes weeks after Next announced its $13.4 Million Series C round of funding (click here).

The PV Prototype Window Wall was delivered by NEXT in collaboration with its partners, Walters & Wolf, a leading commercial curtainwall manufacturer and glazing subcontractor headquartered in Fremont, California, and commercial glass fabricator, Glassfab Tempering  Services/Solarfab in Tracy, California. 

“NEXT’s technology is both unique and promising. We’re proud to support their collaboration with Bouygues Construction and will continue to work side by side with them in bringing their product to market,” said Nick Kocelj, President of Walters & Wolf.  

“We support NEXT Energy in their focused effort in providing a unique and innovative product to  the architectural market. When presented the opportunity to participate in this project, we were  eager to assist in any way possible”, said Brian Frea, President of Glassfab Tempering Services/ Solarfab. 

NEXT’s proprietary transparent PV coating transforms commercial windows into  energy-producing solar panels by converting unwanted infrared and UV light into electricity. This fully integrated system can help enable buildings to power themselves with their windows which  retain their traditional transparency and performance. 

The prototype installation consists of 10 transparent PV windows that supply electricity to a battery that powers an interactive display as well as auxiliary charging outlets, for phones, tablets and other electronics.

The purpose of this prototype demonstration is to showcase the  power generation functionality, the exceptional transparency and aesthetics, and the seamless  integration of NEXT windows into a standard glazing system designed by Walters & Wolf to  carry the electronics, wiring and hardware that comprise the balance-of-system. This direct integration into traditional commercial window and framing systems effectively extracts costs  typically associated with packaging and installation of solar. 

Installed in a typical commercial high-rise office building, the first generation of Next windows would offset as much as 10-20% of its power needs, and over a 30-year timeframe, such a building would produce about 20 million kWh of clean power, saving an average of $170,000  annually on utility bills and reducing 14,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the equivalent of powering 1,700 homes for an entire year. In the coming years, Next windows will be commercially available for window sizes up to 5 ft. x 10 ft (1.5 x 3 meters).  

Supply Chain solution to the climate crisis 

Next’s PV coatings are applied to commercial windows during the window fabrication  process, integrating with existing manufacturers without disrupting established workflows and  supply chains. This capital-efficient business model reduces risks to customers, removes  barriers to adoption, and accelerates speed to market, all while adding a high-value product to  the market. This direct integration into traditional commercial window and framing systems  effectively extracts costs typically associated with packaging and installation of solar.

"We are excited to be one of the first global construction companies pioneering NEXT's revolutionary transparent solar panel windows. This innovation will allow Bouygues Construction to offer its clients a simple, sustainable, and profitable solution for buildings that are autonomous in the management of their energy," said Christian De Nacquard, R&D and Innovation Director, Bouygues Bâtiment International.

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, requiring a fundamental transformation of the construction and building sectors, and 100% of new commercial buildings in California will be designed to zero net energy (ZNE) standards by 2030. Globally, buildings generate an estimated 40% of annual GHG emissions.

“Addressing the climate crisis at the corporate level requires creative and cost-effective solutions. Commercial buildings are an excellent example of something that can be re-imagined and improved to reduce carbon emissions and overall impact,” said Daniel Emmett,
CEO of NEXT. 

“At a more personal level, we’re seeing employees returning to office buildings after more than a year of lockdown vocally prioritise healthy and sustainable work environments as a requirement of in-person work."

In a recent survey, 74% of employees said they would consider changing jobs if their company did not meet their requirements for a healthy and sustainable office environment, added Emmett.

Share article