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Siemens and J–Power win €500m contract to build NEMO transmission link between UK and Belgium

Siemens and J–Power win €500m contract to build NEMO transmission link between UK and Belgium

Siemens and J-Power Systems, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries have secured a €500m contract to build first electricity interconnector between the UK and Belgium.

German company Siemens has won an order to deliver a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system for Nemo Link, while J-Power Systems will be responsible for design, manufacture and installation of the HVDC XLPE cable system.

Nemo Link is a joint venture (JV) between the British grid operator National Grid and Belgian Transmission System Operator Elia Group.

The project scope includes turnkey installation of both converter stations using Siemen’s HVDC Plus technology, which has a transmission voltage of ±400kV DC.

Once operational, the HVDC system will have a transmission capacity of 1GW of power, which will be enough to meet the power requirements of 500,000 households.

Extending over 140km from Richborough on the Kent coast and Zeebrugge near the city of Brugge, the link will have a combination of subsea and underground cables.

Nemo Link intends to complete the project and turn the subsea link operational by 2019.

As a part of the order, Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of the project for five-year duration.

The link will connect two high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) electricity systems separated by the North Sea.

Converter stations for both sides will use HVDC Plus voltage-sourced converters in a modular multilevel converter arrangement (VSC-MMC).

The project is in line with the European Commission’s aim to integrate the energy market of the European Union members.

NEMO LINK board member Alan Foster said: “The use of this state-of-the-art cable technology allied to the very efficient converter stations will make NEMO LINK the most innovative interconnector in Europe, bringing new supplies of competitively-priced electricity to the market.”

As well as boosting energy security for the UK and Belgium, the link is expected to support integration of energy derived from renewable sources, including offshore wind.

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Ireland Needs to Wind Down Our Use of Fossil Fuels or The Rest of The World Will Leave Us Behind

Ireland Needs to Wind Down Our Use of Fossil Fuels or The Rest of The World Will Leave Us Behind

G7 commits to decarbonisation as EU energy ministers exclude Ireland from new energy sharing pact.

 Monday, June 8th 2015 – Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said today: “The new Climate Advisory Council due to be announced this week will have to act fast in setting Ireland on a course to do without fossil fuels.”

 “The meeting of the G7 leaders has shown that this transition is inevitable as they have committed today to a complete decarbonisation of their energy systems in the course of this century.”

 “It is clear that Ireland is becoming an increasing outlier in the transition that is starting to take shape.  UN Leader Ban Ki Moon gave a sharp message to the Irish Government during his recent visit when he reminded us that it was not right for Ireland to claim an exemption on climate ambition due to our high emissions from agriculture.”

 “Our reputation as a laggard on climate was further reinforced today, when we were left out of an agreement which was signed between thirteen North-Western European countries at a meeting of the European Energy Ministers in Luxembourg. The agreement allows countries to share power in a way which will lower electricity costs, but Ireland and the UK have not signed up.”

 “The new climate advisory council has no real teeth and the climate bill lacks any targets.  We are now falling behind other countries who will gain the advantage from developing the low carbon solutions that we now know are going to be needed across the world.  The council will have to be outspoken to break the growing consensus across the political system that we can ignore climate change.  We would do so at our peril, as various events today have shown.”

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Siemens wins €8bn power plant order in Egypt

Siemens wins €8bn power plant order in Egypt

German multinational Siemens has won contracts worth €8bn from the Egyptian Government to build 16.4GW of natural gas-fired and wind power projects in the country.

The proposed developments are likely to boost Egypt’s power generation capacity by more than 50% to meet its rising demands.

The German firm will work with Egyptian partners Elsewedy Electric and Orascom Construction to construct three natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants (CCPP) on a turnkey basis, with a total combined capacity of 14.4GW.

Each of these projects, planned to be built in Beni Suef, Burullus and New Capital, will have a generation capacity of 4.8GW and will be powered by eight Siemens H-Class gas turbines.

Under the terms of the contracts, an initial 4.4GW is expected to be turned operational prior to summer 2017.

The remaining portion of the proposed capacity will be commissioned in 38 months after Siemens closes financing and receive payments for the project in advance.

Siemens will also be responsible for the development of 12 wind projects in the Gulf of Suez and West Nile areas. The wind projects will be equipped with 600 turbines offering a combined capacity of 2GW renewable power.

The German major will also build and commission a rotor blade manufacturing facility in Ain Soukhna region by the second half of 2017.

Siemens president and CEO Joe Kaeser said: “With these unprecedented contracts, Siemens and its partners are supporting Egypt’s economic development by using highly efficient natural gas and renewable technologies to create an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for the country’s future.”

siemens egypt order

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Irish students come first in the world for their award winning LED lightbulb!

Irish students come first in the world for their award winning LED lightbulb!

Clonakilty, Sacred Heart Secondary School students pick up top prize at international awards for their research into LED street lights –

Friday 5th June, 2015 – Ellen Fitzgerald, Aoife Dolan and Niamh Nyhan, three students from Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Cork, represented Ireland at the 7th annual International Environment and Sustainability Project Olympiad (INESPO) held in Amsterdam on Monday 1st June until Friday 5th June. Having won the SEAI sponsored INESPO Award at the SciFest@SFIDiscover national final in November 2014, the students saw off competition from 47 other countries to claim the number one spot at the INESPO international final 2015.

Their project focussed on the issue of energy efficiency and energy usage in street lighting. They discovered that there are an estimated 400,000 street lights in Ireland and the cost of street lighting throughout the country is on average €40m per annum. Realising that LED bulbs are much more energy efficient that the bulbs currently used in street lamps they set out to design an LED bulb that could be screwed directly into the standard street lamp fitting. As well as being more energy efficient, the LED bulb has a much longer life expectancy, thus cutting down on checking and replacement costs.

 Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said: “The students really developed their project since their win at SciFest 2014 and it shows that when students engage with STEM outside the classroom, they bring their learning to a new level and produce amazing results. Ellen, Aoife and Niamh have done Ireland proud and with the cost savings that can be made by using their LED lightbulbs there is a great opportunity for us all to be more aware of the energy we use in our homes or businesses.”


Congratulating the students on their win, Aoife Cannon, Education Programme Executive, SEAI said: “The standard of projects at INESPO 2015 was extremely high and SEAI is so proud of Ellen, Aoife and Niamh’s achievement. They represented Ireland at the highest level and won! Their LED lightbulb is such a clever idea, and highlights how their generation is already thinking about ways of becoming more energy efficient and I am sure that they will help to positively shape Ireland’s sustainable energy future.”


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EIB offers €231m loan to Enea for modernisation of Polish power grid


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend approximatlely PLN946m (about €231m) to Enea to upgrade and extend the electricity networks in north-western parts of Poland.

The modernisation programme will start from this year and will be completed by 2017, to improve power distribution in the European country.

Enea will use the funds to set up or upgrade 460km of high-voltage and 3800km of medium-voltage and low-voltage lines and cables.

Additionally, around 3300 transformers will be installed or upgraded.

As well as improving reliability of the power supply in the region, the modernisation programme is expected to reduce losses and connect around 45 000 new system users.

EIB vice-president László Baranyay, who is responsible for the Poland loans, said: “The EIB, as the bank of the European Union, strongly promotes a competitive and secure energy supply.

“We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Enea, as the project will ensure a secure supply to new customers through the expansion of the company’s electricity network.”

Enea president of the management board Krzysztof Zamasz said: “Funds obtained from the cooperation will support investments in the distribution and this ultimately will increase safety and reliability of energy supplies for our customers.”

The firm serves around 20% of the land area in Poland and is the distributor for 13% of its power consumption.

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ABB to deliver power infrastructure to Rampion Offshore Wind in UK

wind farm

ABB has won an order to deliver substations and related power infrastructure for the 400MW Rampion Offshore Wind Farm in the UK.

The Swiss power and automation technology provider will be responsible for the power infrastructure for the offshore platform and onshore substation, as well as ensuring integration of the facility with the transmission grid.

ABB will also extend an existing substation, which will receive the renewable power generated at the offshore facility.

Situated off the Sussex coast between Worthing and Brighton, the wind farm construction is expected to be completed in 2018.

German utility E.ON is the developer for the project, in which UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is also a partner.

The offshore wind facility will feature 116 turbines, and will be able to meet the power requirements of around 300,000 homes in the country, when operational.

The onshore substation to be delivered by ABB will feature high-voltage air-insulated switchgear (AIS), gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), transformers along with substation automation and control and protection systems.

It will also be equipped with four static compensator (STATCOM) units which can ensure grid stability by providing reactive power compensation as soon as voltage fluctuations, due to intermittent nature of wind energy, are detected.

ABB will provide medium-voltage switchgear, power transformers and protection and control systems for the offshore platform.

It will also supply two new switchgear bays and control and protection equipment for the National Grid’s nearby substation at Bolney, which will receive renewable power generated at the offshore facility.

All ABB solutions delivered for the project will in compliance with UK’s power and grid code standards.

ABB Power Systems president Claudio Facchin said: “These substations will help integrate wind energy and facilitate the reliable and efficient transmission of clean power.”

Installed capacity of the offshore wind farm will contribute to the UK’s renewable energy targets for 2020. The country intends to derive 15% of its energy mix from renewable sources within five years and bring down its carbon dioxide emissions.

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Gaelectric and Tesla to collaborate on battery storage in Ireland

Gaelectric and Tesla to collaborate on battery storage in Ireland

Gaelectric has agreed a new partnership with Tesla that will see it deploy the Californian company’s first battery power utility-scale project in Ireland.

Gaelectric said today that the two companies will also collaborate to develop a pipeline of multiple battery projects to build new transmission system services required to facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources.

An initial 1 MW demonstration project is targeted for deployment in 2016 at a location that is yet to be decided.

The collaboration will explore the development and demonstration of business models for energy storage within transmission systems. It will also look at opportunities for other Tesla Energy products in residential and commercial applications and investigate other European markets.

“We are delighted to be associated with Tesla in introducing its battery systems to Ireland,” said Gaelectric CEO, Brendan McGrath. “As a renewable energy group with a pipeline of 500 MW of wind power in Ireland and energy storage projects in Ireland and Europe, Gaelectric has an obvious incentive to drive the adoption of technologies that facilitate the economic dispatch of wind and other renewable sources.”

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Gamesa wins 239MW turbine delivery contract for Scottish wind project

ScottishPower Renewables has awarded a turbine delivery contract to Spanish power equipment manufacturer Gamesa for the 239MW Kilgallioch wind farm in southern Scotland.

Under the contract, Gamesa will deliver and install 94 of its G114-2.5 MW turbines for the facility along with two more models from its G90-2.0 MW variety.

Gamesa Europe and RoW CEO Ricardo Chocarro said: “This milestone agreement with ScottishPower Renewables evidences the success of our commercial strategy in northern Europe, one of Gamesa’s priority markets, and demonstrates the credibility garnered by our new products, which offer market-leading efficiency and profitability, in the eyes of our customers.”

ScottishPower Renewables is a UK subsidiary of Spanish power utility Iberdrola.

The wind facility will be built between the Scottish councils of South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The Spanish manufacturer is expected to deliver the turbines from February 2016.

ScottishPower Renewables intends to start work for the power plant in the following month with completion scheduled during the first quarter of 2017.

Gamesa has also signed a five-year agreement with ScottishPower Renewables to provide operation and maintenance services at the facility.

ScottishPower Renewables CEO Keith Anderson said: “Kilgallioch windfarm will become our second largest windfarm in the UK and this year marks a real milestone as we approach 2GW of installed onshore wind capacity, which is enough to power up to nearly two million homes.”

gamesa scotland

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BT to upgrade communication infrastructure of ABB

Power and automation technology provider ABB has awarded a contract to UK-based telecommunication firm, BT to transform and mange its communications infrastructure across Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

BT will also provide IT security and improve application performance for ABB.

The service is expected to enhance ABB’s capability for collaboration, innovation and business transformation in more than 100 countries.

BT is likely to connect over 700 ABB locations with its Internet Connect and IP Connect services. This will allow 140,000 ABB employees to communicate and collaborate with each other.

The firm will ensure security of network assets and services for ABB by managing 400 firewalls and providing BT Assure cyber protection and analytics services.

The technology is expected to standardise user experience and enable global communication with ABB customers and partners as well.

ABB chief information officer Andy Tidd said: “The alignment with BT will enable us to move to a globally consistent, high quality network.

“This key component of our new IT infrastructure will support ABB’s three focus areas of profitable growth, relentless execution and business-led collaboration.”

BT will be responsible for the quality and performance of the network services. The firm will customise its services to support ABB’s strategic business applications, it said.

BT Global Services CEO Luis Alvarez said: “ABB has ambitious growth plans with their Next Level strategy, and we will support them by leveraging our expertise in the energy and manufacturing sector and our experience in protecting the global IT infrastructure of multi-national corporations.

“We are also looking forward to helping ABB embrace the great new opportunities offered by the cloud, wherever those might be hosted.”


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Laing O’Rourke selected preferred bidder for civil package UK’s Swansea Bay tidal project

Laing O’Rourke selected preferred bidder for civil package UK’s Swansea Bay tidal project

UK-based construction firm Laing O’Rourke has been selected as preferred bidder to develop the turbine house and sluice gate structure for the power-generating £1bn tidal lagoon project in Swansea Bay.

The contract is worth £200m. It will involve delivery of a 410m turbine house and sluice structure block at the lagoon.

Arup will be co-ordinating with the firm for the design and engineering works for the project.

The firms are expected to source concrete, reinforcing and other materials for the construction locally.

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay is the developer for the project. The development is expected to open up job opportunities for 500 people during peak construction period.

Tidal Lagoon Power Engineering and Construction director Andrew McNaughton said: “Announcing that Laing O’Rourke is joining the team is a major step forward for the project.

“As preferred bidder, their contribution over the next few months, alongside General Electric and Andritz Hydro, will be invaluable in preparing for delivery on site in 2016.”

The project will house 16 underwater turbines to produce and supply renewable power for 155,000 households in the UK, over 120 years.

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay intends to sign a fixed price contract for the main build after advanced works and value engineering for the tidal project is completed.

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay has also floated tenders for packages concerning marine works and public realm ancillary works for the project, the results for which are soon to be announced.

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