The Dutch Government will soon be inviting offshore wind power companies to bid on building two wind farms off the Dutch coast.
Companies bidding the lowest price will be awarded a 30-year permit to build and operate the relevant wind farm.
So it’s not a surprise to tell you that everyone will be extremely focused on cost control measures.
From our experience, it will be important for those involved to understand how proven subsea cable equipment can reduce the overall cost over time. And throwing the cheapest solution out to grab a bid could be a very costly problem in the future.
While our high-end, custom engineered subsea cable hardware may not be the cheapest on the market, our engineering team understands there are other ways to save costs. Our experience led us to create “No Tools Required” custom cable systems, and our in-depth hydrodynamic efficiency studies are helping other companies innovate new systems on existing subsea cable devices and analyze cost saving opportunities.
According to the Government, critical to the overall plan for The Netherlands is that the energy produced from renewable sources is cost-competitive. In meeting its future energy demand, the country aims to keep costs under control.
For most wind projects, the pre-construction and even pre-bid costs are high for individual companies. Costs must be made for site investigations, for environmental impact assessments, and so on. This increases risks for bidders, and by consequence the overall costs for offshore wind development. To address this, the Dutch government has now decided to take over the responsibility for many of these pre-development issues. Read more…
Offshore wind might be a new industry, but they are as just as focused on cost efficiencies and simplified solutions as our clients in oil and gas. Those who support them need to supply and produce reliable products that increase performance and lower costs.
Our past customers pushed us to innovate and develop “No Tools Required” custom cable systems, and our in-depth hydrodynamic efficiency studies are helping other companies innovate new systems on existing subsea cable devices and analyze cost saving opportunities.
And we are not alone in our efforts. German industrial group Siemens unveiled a new direct-current solution for connecting offshore wind turbines to the grid which can lower costs by as much as 30%. Read more.
When laying and retrieving submarine cables on the seabed, or performing a cable pull from a vessel to an offshore wind platform, it is often necessary to hold a cable end onboard for up to seven days.
Cables must be anchored firmly onboard to keep them in place, and this anchoring is normally done by means of a cable stopper.
The cable left hanging in the ocean can be exposed to forces so strong there is a distinct possibility of becoming overtensioned. Meanwhile, the vessel’s crew works to keep station by the use of thrusters. If overwhelmed by winds, strong currents and waves, the ship can be driven out of position. The cable left hanging may end up acting as an anchor chain, subject to additional forces and tension.
In these situations, when the wrong cable hardware is used, or is installed incorrectly, the grip of cable tensioners can slip. The heavy cable starts moving unfastened, which is extremely dangerous for the crew, equipment and the vessel.
While the oil, gas and seismic industries have had plenty of experience with these issues, the growing offshore renewable energy companies are looking to manufacturers like PMI Industries for proven experience and products to guide the way.
Engineers who have made the leap from offshore oil to offshore renewable energy have worked with PMI’s products, such as our CABLE-GRIP™ and STOPPER-GRIP™ Terminations, and have found them preferable to typical braided cable grips or cable socks. These terminations are quick and easy to install, robust, and recommended by many cable deck crews.
Our unique cable grips are fully capable of holding cables to the rated breaking strength. Tensile load is transferred gradually from cable to termination with no stress or damage to the cable. And unlike braided stoppers, the helical termination wire design permits installation anywhere along the length of the subsea cable, since it does not require access to the cable end.
You may not have noticed, but offshore wind is taking our world by storm.
Since offshore wind turbines are transported by ships and barges, they easily reduce logistical challenges that land-based turbines encounter, such as narrow roadways or tunnels. This allows offshore wind developers to build larger turbines capable of producing more electricity.
But what’s really exciting is that offshore wind turbines can float. Several U.S. companies are developing innovative floating offshore wind platforms for use in deep waters. These floating platforms are placed in water depths where bottom-mounted towers are not feasible. Their structures are tethered to the seabed with cables.
And where there are cables, there is cable hardware.
We’ve been creating subsea cable hardware for years. Today our products, which offer protection against cable bending and abrasion, are being adapted for the renewable energy field.
This need for subsea cable hardware will be on the rise right along with the demand of
clean, renewable energy to fulfill the electrical needs of cities along U.S. coastlines. And being located near the east coast, where many of the first offshore wind farms will be developed, means we are a close resource for the industry.
Read more about our thoughts on wind energy.
Here are all top 10 things you didn’t know about offshore wind energy.
Although we are located in the States, we assist companies world-wide with marine cable hardware, deployment, and management. Therefore, we’ve had a front row seat watching Europe position itself as a leader and pioneer in addressing climate change, creating jobs in the offshore wind sector, and reducing fossil fuel imports.
And while offshore wind is years behind onshore wind, the industry is displaying one of the fastest growth rates in the industry. The pace of growth, however, needs to be matched by an equal pace in reducing costs. Success will depend not only on how much it can reduce costs, but also how fast it can reduce costs.
As the U.S. starts installing the foundations for their first offshore wind farm, they will have these same issues to contend with as well as the struggling opposition found along our coast.
Read more about offshore wind here.
Read more about North America’s first offshore wind farm:
Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind will start installing the foundations for North America’s first offshore wind farm on Monday, a milestone the company says could pave the way for an industry long established in Europe but that is still struggling with opposition in the United States.
As our underwater cable products and services continue to serve customers worldwide, we are excited to read about how our global community is working together to share best practices and collaborate on operational solutions within the Welsh marine energy sector.
Tapping companies from around the world with expertise in both the marine and energy industries will certainly make Wales a world-leader in the marine energy market and create hundreds of jobs in areas like manufacturing, offshore operations and new project development.
The profile of Wales as a potential location for marine energy projects has increased dramatically over the past 12 months, demonstrated clearly by the growing number of developers from across the globe who are showing an active interest in developing projects in Welsh waters.
Attracted initially by Wales’ excellent wave and tidal stream resource, the announcement of two marine energy Demonstration Zones and the allocation of €100.4 million of EU Structural Funds prioritized by the Welsh Government for marine energy have served to cement Wales in the minds of developers as one of the preferred locations for marine energy development on a worldwide scale.
Read more about our thoughts on renewable energy
Read more about the Welsh Marine Energy Sector.
Our location near the Great Lakes has many advantages. One of them is being a close resource for our east coast clients. The other is getting the chance to witness some fabulous things happening in our territory.
LEEDCo has kicked off geotechnical studies in connection with its proposed 18MW Icebreaker offshore wind demonstration project in the U.S. Great Lakes.
The company is investigating lakefloor soils including sampling at six different turbine locations, building on geotechnical work carried out in 2013.
Read about another Great Lakes project here.
Read more about LEEDCo’s project here.
In 1969, PMI emerged in the underwater market by introducing the helical wire concept for use on underwater cables. And since then, we have earned a global reputation for providing the right products at the right time.
Today, as Denmark is proving to generate 140 percent of its electricity needs from wind power, we know that the right time for wind power is now and we can provide the right subsea cable hardware products to help the this industry grow.
Oliver Joy, a spokesman for the European Wind Energy Association said: “It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy. Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonization – and also security of supply at times of high demand.” Read more…
Forward-thinking and progressive companies will push sustainable energy technology and innovation further, testing its boundaries. These companies will advance as they see the value in environmental advocacy. They will be very focused on time and cost cutting methods. At PMI, we are looking into the future with these companies, helping reduce their costs through the use of hydrodynamic efficient hardware. Our in-depth hydrodynamic efficiency studies can be done on existing subsea devices for a complete cost analysis, as well.
In the world of energy, time and money are of the essence. Whether it be meeting projects completions, cost recovery or investor returns, entering the sustainable energy market has very real risks. All variables in the energy sector are related to time and cost. This is even truer in the sustainable energy sector. In order to get off the ground floor, in order to thrive, new emerging technologies and companies in this sector will require the removal of barriers to entry, which at times contain the much maligned red-tape. Read more…
Tidal energy farms require cables. And we understand that the lifetime of those cables significantly effect O&M costs. That’s why as the demand for tidal energy grows, we expect to find ourselves a long-time supplier in this market. Our product are designed to guard against cable and equipment damage, extend service life and maintain cable integrity in extreme underwater environments. Our hardware is proven to reduce the cost of maintaining subsea cables over time.
How the world is harnessing the power of the tides:
The Bay of Fundy is receiving a great deal of attention from proponents of ocean energy and from those in the industry seeking a more sustainable and green future. This 270 km long ocean bay is located in Atlantic Canada between the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Bay of Fundy is where you will witness the highest and most spectacular tides in the world with 100 billion tons of seawater flowing in and out daily during each tidal cycle. This enormous power is currently being harnessed to generate electricity via tidal in-stream energy conversion (TISEC). Numerous projects and research initiatives are underway. With growing demand all over the world for renewable, clean, and carbon-free energy generation, tidal energy is quickly becoming a top choice over traditional wind and solar power. Read more…