Work begins on 448MW Calvados offshore wind project
Work is underway on the 448MW Calvados offshore wind project at Courseulles-sur-Mer, which aims to open in 2024.
The consortium behind the €2 billion project, which comprises EDF Renewables (42.5%), Enbridge subsidiary EIH S.à r.l (42.5%) and wpd (15%), plans to operate 64 wind turbines 10kms from the Bessin coastline, occupying a surface area of 45sq kms.
Upon its commissioning, scheduled for 2024, it will generate the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 630,000 people, or over 90% of the Calvados French department's population.
The Calvados offshore wind farm holds a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) granted by the French government in June 2018.
The three and a half-year construction project will create over 1,000 direct jobs in Normandy and will contribute to the development of the French's offshore wind industry.
The project's wind turbines will be manufactured in Le Havre at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy's Quai Joannes Couvert plant, which is currently under construction.
Upon commissioning scheduled in the first half of 2022, a total of 750 direct and indirect jobs will have been created. The plant will also manufacture the 71 wind turbines for the Fécamp offshore wind farm awarded to the same consortium, which construction began in June 2020.
The wind turbines will be assembled at the Port of Le Havre, then shipped to the installation site, and offshore construction is due to start next year.
RTE, which is responsible for connecting the wind farm from the offshore sub-station to Normandy's electricity grid, will commence its onshore work in March.
The consortium has now signed its main supply agreements with:
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the 647MW wind turbines;
- Saipem for the monopile foundations;
- Prysmian Group for the sub-sea cables connecting the wind turbines to the offshore substation;
- Chantiers de l'Atlantique plus GE Grid Solutions and SDI for the offshore sub-station.
During its service life, maintenance of the wind farm will create approximately 100 sustainable local jobs based at the port of Caen-Ouistreham.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, said two other projects, at Saint-Nazaire and Fécamp, are also coming to fruition, and collectively will employ 7,000 people.
"In parallel, we continue to progress the development of the Dunkerque wind farm, the fourth projects awarded to us of the seven attributed by the French government," he said. "Offshore wind energy is an integral part of EDF's strategy, which has recently been enhanced and now aims to more than double its net renewable energy capacity worldwide from 28 to 60 GW between 2015 and 2030."
Matthew Akman, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Power, Enbridge added Enbridge is investing in renewable power projects that support the transition to a lower-carbon economy and are aligned with its low-risk investment approach.
Achim Berge Olsen, Executive Director of the wpd AG Group and Chairman and CEO of wpd offshore France, said beyond the industrial opportunities created by this project, the Calvados park anchors the sustainability of offshore wind in the French energy mix. "It also paves the way for future projects that will emerge off the French coast in the coming years, for which wpd intends to continue to play a major role."
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.