POWER Digest [July 2021]

GE Will Supply Finnish Wind Farm. General Electric (GE) in late May said it will deliver 16 Cypress onshore wind turbines for the 88-MW Puskakorpi wind farm in Finland. Each 5.6-MW-158 turbine will be installed under a 30-year full-service agreement. The project was co-developed by Finland’s Smart Windpower Oy, Mincovest Oy, and GE Renewable Energy. GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) also was a partner in the project, raising the long-term project finance debt. GE EFS also was responsible for sourcing an investor for the project, which was acquired by Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners, a Luxembourg Special Limited Partnership for which Foresight Group LLP acts as portfolio manager. Societe Generale, a leading bank in the field of renewables financing, is the sole lender. The project is Foresight’s first onshore wind investment in Finland and first partnership with GE’s onshore wind technology. The installation is expected to play a significant role in supporting Finland’s goal of meeting 50% of its energy end-consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030. The project is expected to begin commercial operation in late 2022. Construction contracts will be executed by Suvic Oy, as the civil and electrical balance of plant contractor, and Ramboll as the project’s construction manager. Both companies are experienced in the Finnish market. GE Renewable Energy now has more than 1.5 GW of committed onshore wind capacity in the Nordics for its Cypress platform.

Companies Partner on Wind Turbine Recycling. GE Renewable Energy in mid-June made two announcements about wind turbine recycling, entering into separate agreements with neowa, a German-based waste recycling company, and LafargeHolcim, a Switzerland-based building materials group. The deal with neowa involves dismantling of decommissioned Germany-based onshore wind turbines, and the recycling of components, including blades, during either partial or full repowering. GE and neowa also said they will jointly look at expanding neowa’s blade recycling technology across Europe. The agreement includes neowa’s move to provide deinstallation services to GE Renewable Energy and its customers, including dismantling and removing decommissioned turbines from the turbine pad, as well as recycling various components. neowa said it will recycle up to 90% of the mass of the wind turbine, and use its proprietary process and tools to shred wind turbine blades—including the glass fibers—into pellets of varying sizes, to be used as a feedstock in the production of cement. The agreement with LafargeHolcim involves exploring new ways of recycling wind blades, including their use as a construction material to build new wind farms. The companies said the partnership is another step in the companies’ focus on circular solutions for the energy industry, after the European Commission adopted a Circular Economy Action Plan as part of the European Green Deal. GE Renewable Energy said about 10 GW of older turbines in Europe are expected to be repowered or decommissioned by 2025.

Siemens Will Build Special Gas Plant in Bavaria. Siemens Energy in mid-June announced it will build a new turnkey gas-fired power plant as special grid-related equipment in Leipheim, in southwestern Bavaria, as part of a contract with LEAG, a German-based energy provider. The plant will be built on a former military base. The grid-supporting plant will be operated by grid manager Amprion to support grid stability—specifically in emergency situations—and ensure a reliable power supply in southern Germany. The companies stressed that the gas-fired power plant will be used exclusively to protect and ensure the reliability of the transmission grid. It will not be available for use in the free energy market, according to the German Energy Industry Act. The Leipheim plant will be able to supply power generation capacity of as much as 300 MW, for up to 30 minutes. Siemens Energy, along with LEAG, will manage the plant’s operations and maintenance for an initial period of five years. The plant will be operated from Siemens’ remote support center in Erlangen, Bavaria. Siemens, along with providing turnkey construction, and operations and maintenance, will supply an SGT5-4000F gas turbine, an SGen-2000P generator, and the SPPA-T3000 control system. Siemens also will provide an intake air cooling system, along with equipment to inject desalinated water into the gas turbine.

Wind Project Looks at Adding Storage. Independent power producer Lekela Power has chosen Denmark’s DNV to carry out a feasibility study for Lekela’s energy storage project at the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm in Senegal. The facility, located in Tivaouane, has a capacity of 158.7 MW, and provides 15% of the electricity produced in Senegal. Lekela Power, a joint venture between UK investment fund Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, chose DNV to provide risk management and insurance expertise. DNV’s study will be supported by a grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Lekela Power in a statement said DNV will help “develop the technical specifications of the battery storage system to ensure a successful technical solution that will provide services to the grid during [the farm’s] operational life of up to 20 years.” DNV also is helping negotiate the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project between Lekela Power and Senelec, the national electricity company of Senegal. Lekela plans a battery energy storage system (BESS) capable of storing as much as 40 MW of power, providing as much as 175 MWh of electricity. Construction of the BESS is expected to begin next year.

Storage Part of Malawi Solar Farm. A Chinese company has contracted to supply an energy storage system for a solar power installation in Malawi. Sungrow Power Supply in late May announced it will add a 5-MW/10-MWh BESS configuration, and supply the inverters, for the 20-MW Golomoti solar plant in the Dezda district. The project is being developed and built by JCM Power and InfraCo Africa, with financial support from Energy Catalyst, Rina Tech UK, and Innovate UK. Sungrow said it would install its MV, or medium voltage, solution, which includes an inverter, substation, and power conversion system, along with the BESS and an energy management system. Electricity generated by the Golomoti solar plant will be sold to the state-owned Electricity Supply Corp. of Malawi (Escom) under a PPA. Sungrow also in May announced it won the contract to supply inverters for the 200-MW Kom Ombo solar power plant in Egypt, that country’s largest private solar project to date. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the African Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund, and Arab Bank are supporting the Kom Ombo project with a $114 million financing package with ACWA Power.

Wärtsilä Commissions Two Energy Storage Projects. Finnish technology group Wärtsilä announced it has signed multiple energy storage contracts with SMC Global Power Holdings Inc. through its subsidiary, Universal Power Solutions Inc., in the Philippines. The first two projects, Integrated Renewable Power Hub-Toledo and BCCPP, Limay, Bataan, achieved final commissioning in May. The projects have capacities of 20 MW/20 MWh and 40 MW/40 MWh, respectively. These are the first energy storage systems supplied by Wärtsilä to the Philippines. The projects were delivered on an engineering, procurement, and construction basis, and include Wärtsilä’s propriety software and hardware solutions. The systems comprise the company’s GridSolv Max system, a standardized energy storage solution that provides flexible and modular storage for the core hardware assets of the systems, including the batteries, a safety and fire system, and inverters, alongside the advanced GEMS Digital Energy Platform.

Pharma Group Installing Rooftop Solar. Cleantech Solar in June announced it has commissioned a rooftop photovoltaic solar system for Kotra Pharma, a Malaysian pharmaceutical company, for that group’s research and manufacturing hub in Melaka. The solar project will operate under a long-term PPA in which Cleantech Solar would be responsible for funding, building, operating, and maintaining the system across the term of the agreement. The Melaka facility is the hub for Kotra Pharma’s research, development, and manufacturing activities. The 600-kW solar system is expected to generate about 790 MWh of electricity in the first year. ■

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER.

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