Consumers Energy launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near a Jackson County electric substation to help determine whether the emerging technology can improve how the company serves Michigan residents. Consumers Energy is the fourth energy company in the U.S. and the first in Michigan, to receive approval for UAV use from the Federal Aviation Administration. The UAV is being evaluated on its performance at inspecting wind turbines and above-ground utility equipment such as poles and transformers.
Pattern Energy Group (Pattern Energy) closed the previously announced acquisition of a one-third interest in the 270-MW K2 Wind Power Facility in Ontario from Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development). Pattern Energy will hold a 33% equity interest in the facility, which is equally co-owned by Samsung Renewable Energy and Capital Power.
Siemens will supply 65 wind turbines and 67 transformers for the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge). The customer for this onshore project in Indiana is Pattern Energy. With a capacity of 150 MW, the wind power plant will provide Amazon Web Services' data center with eco-friendly electricity. Installation is scheduled to begin in July. Commissioning is planned for the first quarter of 2016. Siemens will also be providing long-term service for the wind turbines.
GE announced the construction of two service centers focused on the operation and maintenance of wind turbines in Brazil. The support centers will be staffed by GE technicians and engineers at wind farms operated by Casa dos Ventos and other clients at Chapada do Araripe (PI and PE) and in Garanhuns (PE). GE and Casa dos Ventos now have three wind farm clusters under construction. One of these is the Tianguá Cluster, in the state of Ceará, which has 77 GE 1.6-100 wind turbines, with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2015.
Siemens secured a large wind power contract in South Africa for an order of 157 wind turbines for three projects in the Northern Cape from Mainstream Renewable Power. The 2.3-MW machines of the Siemens G2 platform will be installed at the wind power plants Khobab, Loeriesfontein 2 and Noupoort, with a combined generation capacity of 360 MW. The new contract includes a service and maintenance agreement for a period of 10 years.
Siemens Energy secured an order for a total capacity of 36 MW in Nordfriesland, Germany. Siemens is to supply twelve direct-drive wind turbines, eleven model SWT-3.0-113 and one model SWT-3.0-101 turbine, for the Süderlügum publicly-operated wind farm. Siemens has also been contracted for a 20-year service and maintenance agreement. Süderlügum has the ability to utilize renewable energy sources during calm weather by the "Reactive Power at No Wind" technology from Siemens.
The Department of Energy (DOE) took the first step toward issuing a $150 million loan guarantee to support the construction of the Cape Wind offshore wind project with a conditional commitment to Cape Wind Associates. If constructed, the project would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind facility in the U.S., with a capacity of more than 360 MW of clean energy off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Siemens Energy was awarded an order by Minnesota Power for 64 units of the company's latest 3-MW D3 platform wind turbines to be installed at the Bison Wind Energy Center near New Salem, North Dakota. The wind turbines feature a 113-meter rotor and 92.5-meter hub height and thus increased rating of 3.2 MW. Installation of the turbines is scheduled to begin in mid-June 2014, and commercial operation is slated for December 2014.
Siemens received an order from MidAmerican Energy for the supply of 448 wind turbines. With a total capacity of 1,050 MW, this represents not only the largest order for onshore wind turbines for Siemens, but also the largest single order for onshore wind power awarded globally to date. The wind turbines, each with a nominal rating of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 108 meters, are to be installed in five different projects in Iowa. Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of the wind turbines.
ABB successfully commissioned the subsea transmission link connecting one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe to the Belgian grid. The Thornton Bank project, executed for the Belgian company C-Power NV was completed on schedule. The transmission link was constructed as part of an expansion of the Thornton Bank wind farm.