The top wind power projects around the globe
Wind energy has proven to be a clean, low-cost energy source worldwide. As a now relatively mainstream energy source, wind farms are being utilized and developed globally to support a multitude of country’s energy needs.
AWEA CEO, Denise Bode, said, “Americans recognize that wind, other forms of renewable energy and energy efficiency mean new manufacturing jobs, stronger national security and more clean, affordable energy for our country.”
The Roscoe Wind Farm, located in Roscoe, Texas, is the largest wind farm in the world, with a total of 627 wind turbines installed, generating 782 megawatts of power. The project was completed by C.ON Climate and Renewables (EC&R) in October of 2009, and the wind turbines were manufactured by Siemens, General Electric (GE) and Mitsubishi. According to AWEA, the Roscoe Wind Farm can create enough power for 250,000 average American homes. Texas is home to six of the nation’s largest wind farms.
"Texas continues to lead the nation in the development of renewable energy and has more wind generation capacity than any other state and all but four countries," Rick Perry, Texas Governor, stated. "We are pleased that E.ON Climate & Renewables North America has chosen to open this facility in Roscoe that will further expand our state's diverse energy portfolio."
Piedra Larga Wind Farm
According to the World Wind Energy Association, “Latin America showed encouraging growth and more than doubled its installations, mainly due to Brazil and Mexico, in 2009. A total wind capacity of 200,000 megawatts will be exceeded within the year 2010.”
Expected to be one of Mexico’s largest wind farms, the Piedra Larga facility will be located in Oaxaca State, with an installed capacity of 228 megawatts of potential wind power. Iberdrola Ingenieria, will be a major shareholder of the project, along with Global Energy Services Mexico (GES). Iberdrola Ingenieria received a $99 million contract from Gesa Eólica México for the wind farm construction. The first stage of the project, with 90 megawatts of installed capacity is due to be completed in March, 2011, and the total project is expected to be completed in March 2012. Iberdrola has constructed two other wind farm projects already existing in Mexico with 80 and 83 megawatts of power, and a third with a potential installed capacity of 103 megawatts is also currently being developed.
Markbygden Vind AB
According to Paolo Berrino of the European Wind Energy Association, “We support the vision of the European Commission that by 2020 there should be at least 34 percent of electricity coming from renewable energy. EWEA’s scenario shows that 230GW of wind power installed capacity will be available in the EU in 2020, which is equal to 14 to 17 percent of EU electricity demand, depending on the demand side at that time.”
The Swedish renewable energy company, Svevind, is currently developing Markbygden in Northern Sweden with the hopes of creating the largest wind farm in Europe, and possibly for the future, the largest in the world. The location has the potential for an instalment of up to 1,100 wind turbines, and is considered to be ideal due to its wind conditions. The total installed power is 2,500 to 4,000 megawatts, and the project’s estimated annual energy production is 8 to 12 TWh. In May, 2008, Enercon, the largest global wind power supplier in the world, became partial owner in the project for the supply guarantee of turbines for Markbygden. The project is expected to be complete by 2020.
Maranchon Wind Farm
The Maranchon Wind Farm, located in central Spain in the region of Castilla La Mancha, consists of seven wind farms joined together. The wind farm opened in 2006 and was then considered the largest wind development in Europe. The overall combined capacity reaches 208 megawatts of clean power. Spanish company and the world’s largest wind farm operator, Iberdrola Renewables, owns and operates the Maranchon wind farms. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, wind power supplies 11.5 percent of Spain’s electricity, generated from approximately 16,700 wind turbines currently existing throughout the country. The region of Castilla La Mancha currently has more installed wind capacity over all other regions of Spain.
The Whitelee Windfarm, developed by Scottish Power Renewables, consists of 140 wind turbines located on Eaglesham Moor, which is near central Glasgow. The wind farm has the capacity to generate 322 megawatts of electricity, which is estimated to be enough to power 180,000 homes. For every single wind turbine on this wind farm, over 1,000 homes are powered. The Whitelee Windfarm is currently the largest in Europe to date.
However, in 2011 the development of the Clyde Wind Farm is due to be completed. The farm, which was approved by the Scottish Parliament in 2008, will be located in Lanarkshire, Scotland. With a proposed 152 wind turbines generating 548 megawatts, and the capacity to generate enough power for 320,000 homes, the Clyde Wind Farm will significantly surpass Whitelee in size.
Dobrogea Wind Park
Berrino says, “The biggest [wind farm] in construction is probably the Dobrogea Wind Park in Romania, which is however composed by two clusters: Fantanele and Cogealac.” The total installed capacity is expected to reach 600 megawatts. Over 100 turbines have been installed so far for the first phase of the project. The wind park construction is expected to be completed in 2010.
Morocco Wind Farm
The largest wind farm in Africa is being developed in northern Morocco, with 165 wind turbines spread over five farms. The wind farm is expected to produce 140 megawatts of wind power, and will supply the region with its power needs. Officials have said the farm will increase the country’s electricity consumption from renewable energy sources to 42 percent, or 2,000 megawatts, by 2020.
Sakuu Corporation creates 3D printer for EV batteries
Sakuu Corporation has announced a new industrial-grade 3D printer for e-mobility batteries which it claims will unlock the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.
Offering an industrial scale ‘local’ battery production capability, Sakuu believes the technology will provide increased manufacturer and consumer confidence. Sakuu’s Alpha Platform for its initial hardware offering will be available in Q4.
Backed by Japanese automotive parts supplier to major OEMs, Musashi Seimitsu, Sakuu is set to enable fast and high-volume production of 3D printed solid-state batteries (SSBs) that, compared with lithium-ion batteries, have the same capacity yet are half the size and almost a third lighter.
The company’s KeraCel-branded SSBs will also use around 30%-50% fewer materials – which can be sourced locally – to achieve the same energy levels as lithium-ion options, significantly reducing production costs. Sakuu anticipates the 3D printer’s attributes being easily transferable to a host of different applications in other industry sectors.
"For the e-mobility markets specifically, we believe this to be a landmark achievement, and one that could transform consumer adoption of electric vehicles,” said Robert Bagheri, Founder, CEO and chairman, Sakuu Corporation. “SSBs are a holy grail technology, but they are both very difficult and expensive to make. By harnessing the flexibility and efficiency-enhancing capabilities of our unique and scalable AM process, we’re enabling battery manufacturers and EV companies to overcome these fundamental pain points."
The ability to provide on-demand, localised production will create more efficient manufacturing operations and shorter supply chains, he added.
Sakuu will initially focus on the two-, three- and smaller four-wheel electric vehicle market for whom the company’s SSB proposition delivers an obvious and desirable combination of small form factor, low weight and improved capacity benefits. The agility of Sakuu’s AM process also means that customers can easily switch production to different battery types and sizes, as necessary, for example to achieve double the energy in the same space or the same energy in half the space.
Beyond energy storage, Sakuu’s development of print capability opens complex end device markets previously closed off to current 3D printing platforms. These include active components like sensors and electric motors for aerospace and automotive; power banks and heatsinks for consumer electronics; PH, temperature and pressure sensors within IoT; and pathogen detectors and microfluidic devices for medical, to name a few.
"As a cheaper, faster, local, customisable and more sustainable method of producing SSBs – which as a product deliver much higher performance attributes than currently available alternatives – the potential of our new platform offers tremendous opportunities to users within energy, as well as a multitude of other markets," said Bagheri.
Ongoing research and new funding collaborations
Omega Seiki, a part of Anglian Omega Group of companies, has partnered with New York-based company C4V to introduce SSBs for EVs and the renewable sector in India. As part of an MoU, the two companies are also looking at the manufacturing of SSBs in the country, according to reports.
Solid Power, which produces solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, recently announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs. Solid Power plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company's pilot production line in early 2022.
"Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that's why we're investing directly," said Ted Miller, Ford's manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. "By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we'll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes."
A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed an MoU with SSB manufacturer ProLogium - which picked up a bronze award at the recent Edison Awards - to accelerate commercialisation of batteries for EVs (click here).
Xin Li, Associate Professor of Materials Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is designing an SSB for ultra-high performance EV applications. The ultimate goal is to design a battery "that outperforms internal combustion engines so electrical vehicles accelerate the transition from fossil-fuel-based energy to renewable energy," according to The Harvard Gazette.
The dramatic increase in EV numbers means that the potential battery market is huge. McKinsey projects that by 2040 battery demand from EVs produced in Europe will reach a total of 1,200GWh per year, which is enough for 80 gigafactories with an average capacity of 15GWh per year.