THE FRIDAY NOTE: N Ireland loses 400-MW offshore wind project and more of the week's top picks
Turbines at sea. Author: Andreas Klinke Johannsen. License: Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Dec 5, 2014 - This week First Flight Wind Ltd gave up on building a 300 MW-400 MW wind farm off Northern Ireland, France unveiled plans to open a third tender for offshore wind capacity in 2015 and the US government approved a one-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind power retroactive to 2014.
At the start of the week, First Flight Wind said it would no longer pursue the development of its 300 MW-400 MW wind farm off Northern Ireland’s coast because of new market rules that require the plant to be completed by 2021. The developer explained that delays to the design of the country’s new market and renewable incentive arrangements would make it impossible to build the wind park in time.
FRANCE READIES FOR NEW OFFSHORE TENDER, US EXTENDS PTC
This week also brought some positive news for the wind industry. On Wednesday, the French government said it plans to launch a third tender for offshore wind capacity next year and added it would start a call for expression of interest procedure for floating offshore wind additions in 2015.
Moving across the ocean, to the US, the House of Representatives gave its nod to a one-year extension of the wind PTC retroactive to 2014. Project developers will now have less than a month to initiate construction works on their wind farms so that they can qualify for the credit.
Returning to Europe, German wind turbine maker Senvion SE on Wednesday said it would equip and install 171.6 MW of wind farms in Portugal for Ancora Wind Energia Eolica SA. The German company, which is a subsidiary of India’s Suzlon Energy (BOM:532667), will supply 84 turbines for five projects and will also take care of the parks’ maintenance.
E.ON GEARS FOR RENEWABLES FUTURE, SMA SOLAR PLANS OVER 600 LAY-OFFS
In an effort to focus on renewables, distribution networks and customer solutions, German utility E.on SE (ETR:EOAN) said Sunday it will spin off its conventional upstream and midstream activities. As part of the plan, the group intends to concentrate specifically on growing its wind power business in Europe and other selected target markets and, in the meantime, it will also beef up its solar activities.
E.on’s compatriot SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92), however, is not that optimistic about its future business. On Monday, the solar inverter maker guided for a 2014 loss of up to EUR 115 million (USD 142m) and unveiled plans to cut its workforce by "significantly more than 600 employees". The move was undertaken due to a drop in demand in the European distribution business, mainly in Germany, and because of project delays in Great Britain.
AfDB TO LEND EUR 196M FOR 350 MW OF CSP IN MOROCCO
More front the solar energy front, on Wednesday the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said it had approved EUR 196 million in loans for 350 MW of concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Morocco. The financing will be allocated for the next phases of the Ouarzazate project. The Noor III and Noor II facilities will be able to generate more than 1,100 GWh of electricity each year, once completed.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.