Trident Energy and 42 Technology collaborate to improve PowerPod II design

The re-designed concept, named PowerPod II, represents a major advance for Trident Energy and its WaveDrive project, which is aimed at developing a generic power take-off (PTO) system for use in a broad range of wave energy converter (WEC) devices.  Trident’s WaveDrive project was awarded almost £0.5M in development funding earlier this year from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) as a Stage 2 project in its PTO innovation call.

42 Technology has undertaken a detailed design review of Trident’s existing PowerPod linear generator and has successfully optimised it for performance, robustness and manufacturability.  The design improvements and project outcomes have exceeded expectations and the two companies are now progressing to detailed design of the new linear generator technology,” said Steve Packard, CEO of Trident Energy.

The new PowerPod II concept is based on a single generic design that can be adapted for use in different types of wave energy converters and certain tidal energy devices, potentially enabling higher manufacturing volumes, lower cost and faster commercial deployment.  The new concept is similar in size to its predecessor but it generates 50% more electrical power on each stroke thus helping WEC developers implement more cost-effective and competitive systems.

The magnetic stack configuration has been optimised to allow the linear generator to operate horizontally, widening the available options for installation and operation.  Improvements to the seal design for ‘in-sea’ operation and a more robust bearing solution have been implemented to further increase reliability and reduce maintenance cycles. The improved PowerPod II design is also fully controllable using solid state power electronics, which opens the door to advanced “real-time” control systems and improved energy capture efficiency of WEC devices.

In addition to 42 Technology, Trident has also appointed a number of other leading engineers and academics into its WaveDrive project team consortium for their expertise in using state-of-the-art modelling and analysis tools to help solve specific design challenges.

Vattenfall launches €3 million offshore wind research programme

The programme will be hosted at the wind farm developer’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). A scientific panel advising on the allocation of the fund, made up of specialists in the field, has called on scientists to apply for funding to study the environment around the 11-turbine scheme.

Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector. We’re pleased that the research will take place at the EOWDC as it underlines the importance of the scheme as a global hub of innovation.      

“We are working collaboratively with a number of key environmental agencies to allocate the research budget, and look forward to working closely with the successful parties to facilitate exceptional science.”

Panel members, who will decide which applications merit funding, include Vattenfall, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and The Crown Estate.

Aly McCluskie, senior conservation scientist at RSPB Scotland, said: “Offshore wind has huge potential to help reduce our carbon emissions but we need to improve our understanding of its environmental effects to help ensure developments happen without harming wildlife. This research programme at EOWDC provides an excellent opportunity to contribute towards this and RSPB Scotland are very pleased to support its launch.”

More information about the EOWDC scientific research and monitoring programme and scientific panel is available here.

The closing date for expressions of interest in the research programme is September 2.

Israel announces first offshore energy exploration licensing round

IHS Energy, part of IHS Markit, is serving as an advisor for the round, and will facilitate the accompanying road shows on behalf of the ministry. 

In this licensing round, the MIEWR will offer 24 blocks for bid in Israel’s offshore waters of the Levant Basin, located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The blocks, some of which are adjacent to recent major gas discoveries, are a maximum size of 400 km2, and sit in water depths of between 1,500 meters and 1,800 meters, according to IHS Energy.

Following an initial press conference that is planned for Israel in late August (date will be posted on ministry website), Yuval Steinitz Ph.D., the Israeli Minister of Energy, and other representatives from the ministry, will present details for the Israel offshore licensing round next month at road shows in London, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, and in Singapore, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, at venues soon to be confirmed. 

Later this year, the ministry will schedule an additional information session in Houston. The round will officially start in November 2016, while closing date for bids on the offered blocks will be March 2017, IHS Markit said.

“We are pleased to assist the MIEWR with the facilitation of its road shows for Israel’s first licensing round,” said Tim Hemsted, managing director, upstream energy consulting for IHS Energy. “We look forward to bringing together government representatives with members of industry and representatives of oil companies to discuss the blocks on offer.”

At each road show event, the MIEWR staff will present the bid-round schedules and guidelines, the legal and fiscal terms, as well as a technical overview of the hydrocarbon potential of the nominated blocks and a discussion regarding the availability of data. The event will also include a presentation on the gas-monetization options in the Eastern Mediterranean.

During the last 10 years, the giant Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, along with other significant finds, were discovered in offshore Israel in prolific sub-salt Tamar sand reservoirs. The Tamar field is now on-stream and delivering gas to Israel through a 150 km pipeline. In addition, the government of Israel and the MIEWR recently approved the field-development plan for the giant Leviathan field, IHS Markit said.

A recent, third-party basin modeling study concluded that as much as an estimated 6.6 billion barrels of oil and 2.13 trillion cubic meters (75 trillion cubic feet) of gas are yet to be found in the offshore part of the basin (in-place, yet-to-find, best estimate). A data package, which includes speculative seismic data and historical well data, is available to interested parties to enable further assessment of the geological prospectivity of the blocks being offered by MIEWR.

At both road show venues, the minister will be available for private meetings with interested oil and gas companies after the technical presentations. The Israel Offshore Licensing Round road shows are open to oil and gas companies, service companies and interested financial institutions, but pre-registration is required. To register for the presentations, please send name, title, company, full contact details and the preferred date(s)/city/cities to attend to 

The agenda for the presentations, and any updates or additional information on licensing round or road show events will be posted as they become available on the following IHS Markit website: and the MIEWR website.

DP Energy receives Development Approval for Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park

Once fully commissioned, the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park will generate approximately 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy directly into the national electricity grid per year, enough to power about 200,000 homes and save 470,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year according to DP Energy. 

South Australia is recognised nationally as a leader in renewable energy, with around 35 per cent of Australia’s installed wind-generated power. Approval enables delivery of one of the largest hybrid renewable energy projects in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the installation of some 59 wind turbines and almost 400 hectares of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays for a combined generation capacity of up to 375 MW. This one project will make a material contribution to South Australia achieving its low carbon investment target of $10 billion by 2025.

The wind resource is primarily driven by the temperature difference between the land and sea rather than by weather systems, and hence exhibits a regular early evening peak which is well aligned with the daily peak demand for electricity, says the company. 

DP Energy’s CEO, Simon De Pietro said that “South Australia stands out as an ideal investment destination for DP Energy. The state has great natural resources in both wind and sun coupled with a clear regulatory framework, an excellent case management service (through Investment Attraction South Australia), and a professional and independent planning assessment process (through the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Development Assessment Commission). These factors have been invaluable in helping DP Energy to navigate the necessary approvals and bring this project to reality.”

“The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park represents a new breed of renewable energy generation which will deliver the right power at the right time for energy consumers, and deliver economic benefit to the region and the State,” Mr De Pietro said.

The project CAPEX is estimated to be approximately $680 million, and will create 250 jobs over construction – peaking at some 600 over the height of that phase of the development, and 15-20 ongoing jobs, according to DP Energy. 

First Solar wins 160mw of module contracts in Turkey

The orders were placed by Basariarge Enerji A.S. and Zorlu Enerji. “Zorlu Enerji and Basariarge Enerji join a fast-growing list of Turkish energy companies that benefit from the tangible upside that First Solar’s energy yield advantage delivers in the country,” said Georges Antoun, First Solar’s Chief Commercial Officer. “These agreements confirm assessments that solar energy in general, and First Solar technology in particular, is the right response to Turkey’s energy security challenges – reliably delivering cost-competitive electricity that addresses an immediate need. They also reaffirm First Solar’s belief in the sustainability of Turkey’s solar energy market.”

Zorlu Enerji, a subsidiary of Zorlu Holding, has contracted First Solar to supply 100MW of its high performance Series 4 thin film modules, for projects expected to be constructed and commissioned in 2017. Basariarge Enerji A.S. – a joint venture between Basari Yatirimlar, a Turkish infrastructure company, and the Basari Group – has placed orders for 60MW of modules that will power its own projects, as well as PV power plants that it will provide EPC services for. The first modules will be delivered in late 2016.

First Solar established an office in Istanbul in April 2014 and has since secured a contracted module sale pipeline of over 300MW, making it a leading PV module supplier in the country, according to the company.

“Our track record over the past two years reflects the trust that our customers in Turkey have placed in First Solar and in our module technology. We are very pleased with the progress that we have made and look forward to growing with our customers there,” Antoun added. 

DONG Energy welcomes consent decision for Hornsea Project Two offshore wind farm

 Hornsea Project Two will have a capacity of up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) and will consist of up to 300 turbines. It could meet the electricity needs of approximately 1.6 million UK homes per year, according to DONG Energy.

Hornsea Project Two is being developed by SMartWind, owned by DONG Energy.The Development Consent Order (DCO) was approved by Greg Clark MP at the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate, and covers the entire project including the turbines, foundations, offshore and onshore substations, array cables and export cables. 

Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK Country Chairman, said: “Development consent for Hornsea Project Two is very welcome. We have already invested £6 billion in the UK, and Hornsea Project Two provides us with another exciting development opportunity in offshore wind. 

“Hornsea Project Two is a huge potential infrastructure project which could provide enough green energy to power 1.6 million UK homes. A project of this size will help in our efforts to continue reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind and shows our commitment to investing in the UK.”

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, said: “Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020. Major developments of Hornsea Project Two’s scale will pave the way for its continued growth alongside driving down costs, creating high value jobs, and supporting the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy supply.”

National Trust historic home fitted with biomass boilers

Northumberland-based re:heat has installed two wood pellet fired biomass boilers to supply renewable heat to keep visitors, staff and the valuable collections in Nunnington Hall, near York, at the optimal temperature.

The National Trust appointed re:heat after a competitive tender process to deliver the project. The company fitted two 50kw biomass boilers to replace an old, inefficient oil powered heating system, giving the hall clean, renewable heat and helping preserve its Carlisle Collection of dolls house-style rooms and miniature figures.

The project was completed to time and specification by re:heat’s expert engineers as part of the National Trust’s environmental commitment to substantially reduce carbon emissions at its properties by switching to more renewable energy sources and deliver 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

An oil-powered boiler, storage tanks and pipe network running from a garage under a courtyard to the stately home were removed, allowing re:heat to install the new biomass boilers which run on sustainable wood pellets.

“We have to maintain our environmental conditions at the right level so our listed buildings and collections don’t deteriorate. We also need to supply comfort heating for our staff and volunteers,” said National Trust project manager Edward Wood.

Nunnington Hall can be traced back to Tudor times and working in its old buildings presented its own unique challenges to the re:heat team.

“This was a very sensitive site and the spec that we were given was quite challenging in that a very old heating system was in place which needed to be replaced to meet the Hall’s present day and future needs,” said re:heat director Ben Tansey.

“Cost was one of the key drivers for the National Trust but there was also a requirement to remove potentially hazardous materials from the site such as oils.

“We had a restricted timeline of eight weeks to fit the boilers to minimise impact on the general public.  We were only allowed to drill in certain places and had to work alongside conservation builders when installing the system.

“Nunnington Hall now has a much more efficient and modern heating system to meet their requirements.”

Kokam to build 36 MW energy storage system for KEPCO in South Korea

The project features a combination of two unique Kokam lithium ion battery technologies – the Ultra High Power Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) battery technology, and its NANO battery technology. Work on the project began in June, and is scheduled to be completed by December.

In March, Kokam deployed for KEPCO two Ultra High Power NMC ESSs – a 24 MW (9 MWh) system and a 16 MW (6 MWh) system – along with a 16 MW (5 MWh) lithium titanate oxide (LTO) system. Together these systems currently provide KEPCO with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation.

When the new 36 MW ESS project is completed, Kokam will have deployed 92 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation for KEPCO, South Korea’s largest utility, and the total worldwide capacity of ESSs using Kokam batteries will total 132 MW.

‘We look forward to deploying this new 36 MW ESS for KEPCO, and continuing to support its effort to install 500 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation by the end of 2017,’ says Ike Hong, Vice President of Kokam’s Power Solutions Division.

Hong continues: ‘Based on our advanced Ultra High Power NMC and NANO battery technologies, this ESS will provide KEPCO with the industry-leading performance, reliability and cycle life characteristics that they have come to expect from Kokam, enabling them to achieve a strong return on their energy storage investment.’

SgurrEnergy secures O&M contract for Inch Cape offshore met mast

Installed in 2014, the offshore met mast is able to gather accurate wind resource, velocity and directional data and oceanographic data to inform the development of the consented 784MW Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm.  

SgurrEnergy was appointed by met mast supplier Drace Infrastructures UK Limited on behalf of Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL). The scope of the 16 month contract includes offshore inspection and maintenance, recertification, project management, weather forecasting, data recovery and detailed reporting through SgurrDataPortal.  

In addition, the role includes the provision and installation of calibrated instrumentation and spares as well as onshore monitoring and coordination from SgurrEnergy’s 24/7 control centre in Glasgow. The SgurrEnergy 24/7 control centre will track the movement of vessel and personnel offshore. 

Hugh Morgan, Asset Manager at Inch Cape Offshore Limited, said: “We are pleased to welcome SgurrEnergy to our OM team on this innovative offshore met mast project. Continued application of best practice OM management of this asset is essential in order to continue to provide valuable data and in doing so, to significantly increase the confidence and certainty of the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm’s wind resource.” 

Robbie Gibson, director of asset management at SgurrEnergy, said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract for the Inch Cape offshore met mast, and will look forward to working closely with ICOL and Drace to ensure the high availability of detailed and accurate data, giving a full picture of the conditions measured by the met mast instrumentation. 

“Being awarded this contract further strengthens SgurrEnergy’s position as a leading turnkey offshore OM service provider, adding to our five-strong portfolio of offshore met mast OM contracts.”

The project is expected to bring benefits through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, energy supply and security, and economic benefits from job creation and infrastructure development through the project life.

Larkfleet seeks funding for Solar Steam demonstration in Mexico

The Bourne-based company, part of The Larkfleet Group of Companies, has put forward a funding application to the Mexico-UK Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme, which is sponsored by the National Science and Technology Council in Mexico (CONACYT), Innovate UK and the Newton Fund

Larkfleet’s ‘solar steam’ technology concentrates the power of the sun’s rays to heat water to create steam which can be used in industrial processes. 

In order to highlight the global commercial viability of the technology following the granting of patents Larkfleet has been seeking funding to deliver a pre-commercial demonstration of solar steam at a site in Morelos in Mexico. 

If successful, Larkfleet will develop the pre-commercial demonstrator in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in Mexico and with the support of Cranfield University and the Queen Mary University of London. Lark Energy will contribute £160,000 to the total project budget of £800,000. It is thought that the project will take three years to complete.

The potential for renewable power generation using a solar steam array is greatest in sunny regions like Mexico, which is one of the fastest growing solar markets worldwide. The solar market in Mexico grew by more than 500 per cent this year and has an estimated potential of between four and six gigawatts of capacity per year by 2030*.

This potential provides an opportunity for investment in solar steam in order to increase renewable heat input and reduce energy costs. For example, industrial facilities that use fossil fuels to provide the thermal energy required for their processes can instead install the Larkfleet solar steam collector to generate low carbon heat.

The Larkfleet solar steam system works by focusing the sun’s rays through a Fresnel lens array onto a tube which contains water. The water is heated to create steam which can be used in industrial process heating and cooling applications. 

The angle of the lens array can be adjusted through a vertical axis to track the sun and is seated on a circular track which allows the array also to follow the sun’s progress horizontally across the sky. By tracking in both planes, the system maintains maximum levels of solar radiation concentrated on the tubes.

Simone Perini, renewable energy development engineer at Lark Energy, said: “Solar steam builds on existing ideas about using solar radiation to generate heat and takes them a step further. 

“We are taking this technology to a wider market where we believe it will have a positive impact on the generation of sustainable and renewable heat.

“To show this we are collaborating with academic, commercial and international funding partners to deliver a demonstration installation in Mexico. We are also seeking to demonstrate the viability of this technology in other regions.”


*According to figures from GMT Research published by