Ocean Tidal turbine installation in Orkney, Scotland Photo courtesy of Alstom
Alstom and GDF Suez will prepare a common project to respond to the call for expressions of interest for pilot tidal farms announced today by the French President, François Hollande in Cherbourg. Jérôme Pécresse, Alstom’s Renewable Power President and Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of GDF Suez, signed a cooperation agreement concerning this, in the Lower Normandy Region in France.
As part of this cooperation, Alstom and GDF Suez will establish the various technical parameters to harness effectively the marine currents at the raz Blanchard site, where the pilot farms will be installed, near the port of Cherbourg coast. The partners will also propose an operation and maintenance strategy for the pilot farm, as well as a roadmap to maximise the positive socio-economic benefits of this new activity throughout the region and the country. This is an important step to support the development of larger commercial farms.
Alstom is successfully testing its 1 MW tidal turbine under EMEC waters, off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The turbine has reached the full nominal power of 1 MW, generating over 10 MWh of electricity on the grid. Trials performed in pilot farms will test the performance of the turbine under real operating conditions.
Alstom will also sign an agreement today with Ports Normands Associés (PNA) which could allow the Group to perform the final assembly of the turbines, the erection of the foundations and all maintenance operations from Cherbourg, if it is awarded the raz Blanchard pilot farms. The port offers many benefits, including, in particular, a development plan covering 40 hectares for infrastructure devoted to tidal power, as well as the proximity of the raz Blanchard site and the British coastline, which represents a substantial potential market.
“Signing this agreement will bolster the port’s’ development strategy in marine energy” said Laurent Beauvais, Chairman of the Lower Normandy Region, and of the Council of the Mixed Ports Association of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg (PNA).
“We are pleased to team up with GDF Suez for the development of the raz Blanchard tidal power pilot farm. We will provide a reliable, environmentally-friendly and efficient technology which will help to deliver power at an optimal cost. Moreover, signing today an agreement with PNA to reserve spaces on the port of Cherbourg, we could thus be in a position to develop synergies with our two future offshore wind plants ” declared Jérôme Pécresse, Alstom’s Renewable Power President.
Solar team Twente, solar car Red Engine Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
The largest ever field for this year’s 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Darwin to Adelaide is converging on Darwin from all corners of the globe. The 3,000 kilometre event will be flagged off from the State Square in Darwin on Sunday 6 October at 8.15 am and will be contested by 40 teams from 23 countries.
UNSW solar racing team Sunswift, solar car eVe Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
Australia’s hopes rest with five teams: University NSW Solar Team Sunswift and their solar sports car ‘eVe’ and TAFE SA’s Solar Spirit 111 are both contesting the inaugural Cruiser Class; in the elite Challenger Class University of Western Sydney in their car ‘Solace’ and Queensland’s Team Arrow in Arrow 1 will be flying the Aussie flags; and in the Adventure Class Aurora’s ‘Evolution’ from Melbourne is confident their experience will prevail.
But the Australian’s face hot competition. An unprecedented amount of preparation and testing has been taking place over the past month. The American Solar Champions, from the University of Michigan are due in Darwin later this afternoon. They have been putting their car, Generation, through its paces on the way to Darwin, staging a ‘mock race’ to simulate the challenges they will encounter crossing the desert. From the Netherlands, Nuon Solar team, winners of four past events in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, have been based in Darwin at Nightcliffe Primary School for the past month taking their solar car Nuna7 through its final paces. They believe this year they have the car to take back the title they lost to the Japanese in 2009 and again in 2011. But winning it back from the impressive team from Tokai University in their sleek Tokai Challenger will be no easy feat.
Stanford University, solar car Luminos Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
Others to watch include Team Twente with their car, Red Engine; Belgium’s Punch Powertrain Solar team and Stanford University, who hope their shining star ‘Luminos’ will be leading the way. Event Director Chris Selwood said the only certainty is the unpredictability of this epic journey. With 33 new cars purpose built for this event the winners could come from anywhere and in the case of the new Cruisers, technology edges closer to the mainstream.
During the event week millions worth of technology and countless hours of effort will be seen making their way along the Stuart Highway travelling through control check points at Katherine, Dunmarra, Tennant Creek, Ti Tree, Alice Springs, Kulgera, Coober Pedy, Glendambo and Port Augusta. The lead cars are expected to reach the Finish of Timing point in Angle Vale possibly as early as Wednesday afternoon before heading to the official finish line in Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Square.
Offshore wind turbine Haliade 150 6MW, photo courtesy of Alstom
Last week, the head of Alstom’s global offshore wind technology platform joined representatives from the American wind power industry to discuss the latest technologies, policies and developments related to offshore and onshore wind projects in the Southeastern United States. The two day Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference held on 11-12 September focused on the potential wind energy development throughout the region, with particular emphasis on offshore wind opportunities along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Florida.
Alstom’s Offshore Wind Platform Director, Daniel Castell Photo courtesy of Alstom
Key themes showcased during the event included:
Permitting and regulatory issues
Existing supply chain and infrastructure in the region
Lessons from European projects
Manufacturing and job creation
Alstom’s Global Perspective
While the conference highlighted the wind industry in the southeastern U.S., speakers also talked about European projects, such as France’s current effort to build 1.4GW of offshore wind generation, the French wind tender, as for a model for offshore wind development. Alstom Wind’s very own Daniel Castell, Offshore Platform Director, was a featured keynote speaker who cited the key elements and best practices from European projects that are crucial to developing the offshore wind industry in the U.S. “There are many factors that must be taken into consideration”, said Mr. Castell. “Obviously you need the equipment and transmission infrastructure but other factors such as industrial setup, supply chain, port infrastructure, and a strong deployment roadmap are critical to ensuring projects are economically sustainable”. Daniel went on to discuss how the long-term collaboration between partners is essential to overcoming the economic and environmental hurdles that are inherent to offshore wind development.
Offshore wind in the U.S……. Moving forward
Superior wind resources, easy access to load centers and shallow waters make the southeastern coast a prime location for the development of wind farms. That’s why Alstom and partners like Dominion Virginia Power, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), are completing the Front End Feasibility and Design (FEED) stages for an offshore wind demonstration project in the state of Virginia, the first of its kind in the U.S. This project, which would feature two Alstom Haliade 150 6MW offshore turbines, was a major topic of discussion during the conference. Representatives from Dominion Power highlighted the importance of Alstom’s role in the project, citing the company’s global expertise and the intellectual capital brought to the project. Speakers from EDF referenced close industry partnerships, like the French Tender, as vital in bringing the U.S. closer to the reality of offshore wind. During a panel session on the potential for offshore wind in the southeast, representatives from AWS Truepower, LLC. once again cited the company’s advanced Haliade 150 wind turbine and that it’s high yield capability make it an ideal turbine for use along America’s eastern coast.
The Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Geothermal
In a landmark announcement, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Reykjavik Geothermal have revealed plans to develop one of the world’s largest geothermal power projects in the Corbetti area in Ethiopia. The Corbetti Geothermal Project will be Ethiopia’s first independent power project, and one of the largest in Africa.
The Government of Ethiopia and Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) today announced an agreement to build and operate up to 1,000 MW of geothermal power in two 500 MW phases. Reykjavik Geothermal, a US-Icelandic development company, has been working with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and various government ministries for the past two years to finalize the power purchase agreement. The first 500 MW plant will be built inside the Corbetti Caldera, which is considered one of the top geothermal resources in the world by the team of Icelandic and Ethiopian geoscientists that have studied the area. The first 10 MW of power will be online in 2015, with an additional 100 MW in 2016 and the full 500 MW to be operational by 2018.
“Africa needs to transform, and energy is at the center of that transformation,“ said His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, at this morning’s announcement in New York. “My vision is that over the next 30 years we will need to harness as much as 80,000 MW of hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power, not just for Ethiopia, but for our neighboring countries as well. This cannot be done by public investment alone; we will need to partner with the private sector to bring in significant private investment going forward. From that perspective, this 1,000 MW project with RG is not that large – but it‘s a great start. What Africa needs now is not just aid, but trade and investment.“
“We are very pleased to announce this historic agreement with Reykjavik Geothermal. This will be a significant step for EEPCO in realizing our strategic vision of being the regional leader for power generation and export in East Africa,” said Deputy Prime Minister and EEPCO Chairman, H.E. Dr. Michael Debretsion. “We believe Ethiopia has over 10,000 MW of geothermal potential which provides base load power and is a perfect complement to our over 50,000 MW of hydropower potential.”
“Our agreement with EEPCO and the Government of Ethiopia is a ground-breaking achievement. Reykjavik Geothermal will be the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Ethiopia and the Corbetti Project will be the largest single geothermal power plant ever built in Africa,” said RG Chairman, Michael Philipp. “The agreement for 1,000 MW of geothermal power, an investment of $4 billion over an 8-10 year period, confirms the confidence of international investors in the growth and stability of the Ethiopian Economy. This project is being led by US private investors and has generated significant interest from the development agencies involved with the Power Africa initiative announced by President Obama.”
“The Corbetti Project is a new model for developing large scale power projects in Africa,” said EEPCO CEO, Miheret Debebe. “The project combines the considerable expertise for electrical power generation of Ethiopia, with the geothermal technical knowledge of Iceland and the financial and structuring expertise of the United States. This project will set a new benchmark for large scale projects financed by the private sector and will help Ethiopia unleash its full energy potential.”
“The Corbetti Geothermal Project will establish Ethiopia as a leader in the global geothermal industry,” said Gudmundur Thoroddsson, CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal. “Ethiopia has some of the best high temperature geothermal resources anywhere, and the Corbetti Project will be one of the lowest cost and most technologically advanced geothermal facilities in the world. Our goal is to transfer geothermal knowledge and expertise from Iceland to build a long term geothermal industry in Ethiopia.”
“This historic agreement for Ethiopia is a fitting tribute on the first anniversary of the passing of visionary leader H.E. Meles Zenawi,” said Nejib Abba Biya, Chairman of Rift Valley Geothermal, the Ethiopian partner of Reykjavik Geothermal. “The late Prime Minister was Africa’s spokesman at Global Climate Change conferences and an unflinching advocate for clean and renewable energy.”
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the north-eastern part of Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It is strategically proximate to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade. It is bordered by the Sudan in the west, Somalia and Djibouti in the east, Eritrea in the north and Kenya in the south. The country covers 1,112,000 square kilometers (472,000 sq. miles) making it roughly as large as France and Spain combined. With over 91 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa. The World Bank estimates GDP growth of approximately 8% over the next five years, after almost a decade of double digit GDP growth.
Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation
The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) as public utility enterprise was established in 1948 for indefinite duration by regulation No. 18/1997, and conferred with the powers and duties of the previous Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority. The purpose of the corporation is to engage in the business of producing, transmitting, distributing and selling electrical energy in accordance with economic and social development policies and priorities of the government and to carry out any other related activities that would enable it achieve its purpose.
Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) is a geothermal development company founded in 2008. The Company is focused on the development of high enthalpy geothermal resources for utility scale power production. RG specifically identifies and targets locations where quality geothermal resources can be efficiently harnessed to meet the local demand for power and clean dependable energy. RG was founded in Iceland by a proven team of experienced geothermal experts. RG management has been involved in geothermal exploration and development in over 30 countries including spearheading the development of one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland.
(24 September 2013) Secretary-General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Barack Obama, President of the United States, are seen walking through the Security Council Chamber en route to their meeting. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Courtesy of United Nations
27 September 2013 – United Nations officials today called for a global response to combat climate change, following new findings by a scientific panel stating it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950.
“The heat is on. Now we must act,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a video message to the launch of the report of the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“This new report will be essential for Governments as they work to finalize an ambitious, legal agreement on climate change in 2015,” Mr. Ban said. “The goal is to generate the political commitment to keep global temperature rise below the agreed 2-degree Celsius threshold.”
The IPCC report, released today in Stockholm, Sweden, calls global warming “unequivocal,” and confirms that there is a 95 per cent probability that most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by human influence.
The report stresses that evidence for this has grown “thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.”
“The IPCC report demonstrates that we must greatly reduce global emissions in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud. “It also contains important new scientific knowledge that can be used to produce actionable climate information and services for assisting society to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”
In its report, the IPCC notes that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. It adds that limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change is a long-term challenge but one that requires urgent action, not tomorrow but today and right now, given the pace and the scale by which greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere and the rising risks of a more than 2-degree Celsius temperature rise,” said the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner.
To add momentum to the global response, Mr. Ban intends to convene a Climate Summit in September 2014 for leaders at the highest level – from government, business, finance, civil society and academia.
“As the results from the latest and best available science become clearer, the challenge becomes more daunting, but simultaneously the solutions become more apparent. These opportunities need to be grasped across society in mutually reinforcing ways by governments at all levels, by corporations, by civil society and by individuals,” said the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres.
Under the UNFCCC, governments have agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. They have also agreed to assess the adequacy of this limit and progress towards this goal using the best science, including the IPCC report.
“Thankfully, momentum to fight climate change is building. We know that success is possible. We have the technology, funding and ability to respond. The many successes at domestic, international and private sector levels to build a low-carbon society shine light on the way forward, but we do need to quickly go to scale,” Ms. Figueres added.
It has been six years since the IPCC, which brings together the world’s leading climate scientists and experts, released its previous report. Back then, scientists stated it was “very likely” that humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases have caused most of the global temperature rise observed since the mid-20th century.
Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Ford Motor Company to bring electrification experience to consumers at Atlanta Falcons game
Ford Focus Electric Photo courtesy of Ford
ATLANTA - The City of Atlanta and Ford Motor Company are joining forces to celebrate National Plug In Day on Sunday, September 29, at the Atlanta Falcons game. The collaboration between Ford, the City of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability and the Atlanta Falcons make this event the first ever registered Plug In America event in partnership with an NFL team.
Partners are inviting the community to experience Ford’s newest plug-in electric vehicles (EV) on display at the Ford Defend the Dome display near Gate C, in the northwest corner of “Falcons Landing,” a family-friendly pregame epicenter for Falcons fans.
“Our residents have embraced plug-in electric vehicles at an astonishing rate, placing us among the top five cities in the country for EV sales,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The work done by my Office of Sustainability in establishing expedited permitting for EV infrastructure has helped to support this adoption rate by our residents.”
Mayor Reed added, “Unique partnerships like those with the Atlanta Falcons and Ford Motor Company to include the promotion of clean technology and zero-emissions vehicles not only supports our local economy, but ultimately helps to reduce our impact on the environment.”
The City recognizes the reduction and elimination of carbon emissions from passenger vehicles as critical to improving Atlanta’s air quality and overall community health. To that extent, the Office of Sustainability and Bureau of Buildings is proud to have established an expedited EV infrastructure permitting process for residential and commercial installations, a process that has served as a model for municipalities across the country. Guidelines for both processes can be found on the office’s webpage at http://p2catl.com/.
Georgia is home to over 5,000 registered electric vehicles; the metro-Atlanta area is home to roughly half of those registered. Additionally, the metro area boasts over 150 public charging stations, many of which are free to park and charge. These numbers represent a portion of Atlanta’s stake in the country’s clean-tech economy.
The vision of Mayor Kasim Reed to make Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability is outlined in the City’s sustainability initiative, Power to Change. The collective actions of the initiative’s five stakeholder groups including residents, non-profits, businesses, government and academic institutions will help the City achieve this top-tier goal. The adoption of electric vehicle technology fits squarely into a number of the sustainability initiative’s ten impact areas including Air Quality and Energy Efficiency.
The Office of Sustainability has partnered with Ford on EV initiatives since its expanded focus on clean technology in 2009.
About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on embedding sustainability best practices into Atlanta city government and across the community. For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at www.p2catl.com. Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook and Twitter @ATLSustainable.
Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council; Sam McCarthy, commercial director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance; and Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke, start work on the new Basingstoke centre Photo courtesy of Network Rail
Work has started on a new state-of-the-art signalling and training centre which will control large areas of railway in London and the south west.
Construction of the new Basingstoke Rail Operating and Training Centre was officially started today (Friday 27 September) by Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke.
The centre is one of 12 being built by Network Rail across the country as part of a new way to signal trains. They will eventually replace more than 800 signal boxes and other operational locations currently in use around the network.
Image courtesy of Network Rail
It will use advanced technology to control trains that will help to reduce delays, improve performance, boost capacity and provide better information to passengers travelling between London Waterloo and the south coast on one of the busiest routes in the country.
The Basingstoke ROC will also be an important part of the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, providing training and office space for staff working across the route.
Combining operational services with training and office space will deliver a number of efficiencies in construction, maintenance and operation and provides a central location within the route for staff.
Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, said: “I very much welcome the significant investment in Basingstoke by Network Rail. It is great to see the start of building of this state-of-the-art signalling and training centre. This development will bring huge benefits for Basingstoke with new jobs for local people, new parking facilities and a footbridge. It will improve train services and help to create extra capacity on the railway. It is also a really important investment in the safety and efficiency of the rail network in the region.”
Sam McCarthy, commercial director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, said: “This centre will be a vital part of operating the railway in the south and south west of England and will firmly establish Basingstoke as an important part of the national rail network.
“It will help to provide a better, safer and more reliable railway and deliver significant efficiencies to contribute to making the railway more cost effective.
“It is also a further example of the partnership approach to operating the railway being demonstrated by the Network Rail and South West Train Alliance. The training centre, offices and control centre will be home to many staff from both organisations, all working together to provide a better service to passengers.”
Deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, added: “It is great to see work starting on this important regional facility that demonstrates Basingstoke’s key location on the rail network. This marks an important chapter in the regeneration of our town centre business district, Basing View, showing the growing interest from major companies in locating here.”
When the 12 new centres are fully operational within the next 30 years they are expected to help Network Rail more than £2.5bn over the following 60 years. They are a key part of Network Rail’s commitment to deliver a safe, punctual and cost efficient railway.
The Basingstoke centre will provide over 13,000 square metres of building and around 5,000 square metres of training space for Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance staff. Training facilities will include indoor and outdoor track layouts, a train simulator and educational space to provide learning environments for engineers, signallers, maintenance staff and drivers.
The centre is being built by BAM Construction and is due to be completed by the end of 2014. The first signallers covering the railway along the Dorset coast are due to be working from the building by the end of 2015.
About Network Rail
Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk Twitter: @networkrailPR