RWE downsizes massive wind project after public backlash

RWE npower’s massive offshore wind farm project in the UK is to be significantly scaled back following a critical public reaction and an unfavourable court ruling against the industry.

The Atlantic Array project, located in the Bristol Channel between South Wales and North Devon, is to be reduced by a third.

The news follows a High Court ruling regarding another wind farm, which ruled in favour of preserving the landscape of the Norfolk Broads on the UK east coast and against allowing four giant turbines to be built on the site.

The à‚£3bn ($4.7bn) Atlantic Array scheme is expected to provide energy for up to a million homes when it becomes fully operational within the next ten years.

RWE’s decision comes amid a background of dissent against the schemes, with legal experts calling the ruling a significant test case for planning rules introduced in March.

Robert Thornhill, development manager for Atlantic Array, said: “We have reduced the maximum number of turbines for which we will apply for planning consent, from 417 to 278, following responses to our public consultation and our environmental and engineering studies to date.”

GE targets Brazil and China as it marks tenth anniversary in wind power market

GE is celebrating a decade in the wind power business with the prediction that its global installed turbine base will top 20 000 this year.

The company entered the sector in 2002 through the acquisition of Enron Wind and has since installed 18 000 turbines and grown the business from 500 MW to 28 GW of installed capacity.

Vic Abate, vice president of renewable energy for GE, pointed to Brazil, Canada, China, Europe and India as the top growth markets for GE’s wind business in the immediate future.

Alstom may pull out of $1.6bn project

Alstom is threatening to pull out of a controversial $1.6bn coal power project in Slovenia unless the state gives financing guarantees.

The French utility is ready to quit if the Slovenian parliament fails to back its financing by 16 June, said television reports.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2010 approved a loan to modernise the 600 MW Termoelektrana Sostanj coal plant, which accounts for a third of Slovenia’s electric output.

Lloyd’s Register hires IAEA’s El-Shanawany as nuclear chief

Lloyd’s Register has appointed atomic safety expert Professor Mamdouh El-Shanawany as its business leader for new nuclear.

El-Shanawany will help to lead the organisation’s technical support programme for countries looking to expand their nuclear programmes and those who want to develop civil nuclear energy for the first time.

He joins Lloyd’s Register from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where he most recently was its head of safety assessment for the Division of Nuclear Installations Safety. He was responsible for strengthening the ability of IAEA member states to assess the safety of their nuclear installations. The team was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2005.

Prof El-Shanawany said: “Demand for safe and sustainable energy supply and the introduction of new nuclear reactor designs and plant technology is driving change. Owners, operators, builders and regulators require assurance and verification during the design, development and construction phases.”

Metso aims to own all of MW Power

Metso is to buy the 40 per cent share held by Wärtsilä in their joint venture, MW Power.

The deal is subject to approval from EU competition authorities and is expected to complete by the end of July. The value of the agreement has not been disclosed.

Founded in 2009, MW Power supplies small- and medium-sized heat and power plants for the European market, and focuses on renewable fuel solutions. Its main customers are municipalities, process industries and utilities. The company has a total of 250 employees in Finland, Scandinavia, the Baltic area and Russia.

Goldman Sachs to invest $40bn in clean energy

Goldman Sachs plans to invest $40bn in solar, wind, hydro, and biofuels and other clean energy sources over the next decade.

The bank’s executives believe that demand for alternative energy sources will grow with global energy demand, and as big manufacturing countries, such as the BRIC nations, set more aggressive targets for reducing emissions, reports Reuters.

Goldman has also pledged to reduce its own net carbon emissions to zero by 2020.

Alstom: Alstom has won a deal to supply Harbin Turbine in China with a gas turbine to be used at a combined-cycle plant owned by Shenzhen Nantian Electric Power Company.

Boralex: Canadian company Boralex has signed a $43m deal for its subsidiary Boralex Europe to acquire a 32 MW wind farm in France. The project will comprise 16 Gamesa G90 turbines. EDF will buy energy from the site, which is due to be commissioned in 2013.

CEZ: Czech energy company CEZ is considering selling its Pocerady and Chvaletice coal fired power stations, mainly due to uncertainty over coal supplies after 2013 that has been raised by currently inconclusive negotiations with the fuel supplier, Czech Coal.

Conductix-Wampfler UK: Mobile energy firm Conductix-Wampfler UK is to export to South America for the first time after striking a deal to supply a metro system in Argentina.
The firm makes energy and data transmission systems for mobile machinery and the contract is with Subterraneos de Buenos Aires for a depot on the Buenos Aires Metro.

LM Wind Power: Danish renewables company LM Wind Power has hired former Siemens boss Leo Schot as its new chief executive. Schot was global supply chain chief executive at Siemens Wind Power and previously worked for Enron Wind and GE Wind Energy. He replaces Roland Sundén, who has left after six years as chief executive.

RWE Innogy: RWE Innogy has started building the Jàƒ¼chen wind farm in Germany. In the next six months, two wind turbines each with an installed capacity of 3.4 MW are to be installed on the recultivated site of RWE Power’s Garzweiler opencast mine.

RWE: RWE supplied power from Polish wind farms to the German Football Federation’s media centre during this month’s Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Moventas: Finnish gear manufacturer Moventas has signed a $99m deal to supply German renewable energy company Areva Wind. The contract covers 5 MW gear unit deliveries for the coming years following successful deals completed this month for two offshore wind gears.

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