New reports from CNN in the US have showed that in April, green energy reached a milestone; wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydro power projects reached the point where for the first time, renewable energy generated more electricity than coal-powered plants in the US – and this is a trend that’s likely to continue on and off for the next few years.
Keeping in mind that wind energy is now a competitive energy source with falling costs/rates, we’re looking at some of the wind energy construction projects that are either currently underway or in the pipeline for the near future…
German developer BayWa has acquired Forsa Energy’s UK business, which is made up of 350MW of onshore wind farms in Scotland. These projects will add to the 823MW of solar and 1047MW of wind that the German company already had under management within the UK and Ireland – and this move is part of its growth strategy in the UK to develop more greenfield wind projects.
The pipeline includes six wind farms, totalling 200MW with planning consent already in place, and the expectation of approval for a further 150MW by 2020. Finally, there is already construction underway at the first of these projects, the 24MW Inverclyde wind farm.
With commercial operations scheduled to start in the second half of 2020, we can expect to see wind farm growth in the Australian state of New South Wales, where Vestas has secured a contract for a 227MW wind farm.
The Australian government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing $180m for the project, following on from the successful completion of the 180MW Mount Emerald Wind farm in North Queensland.
Located in the Galicia region of the country, Enel Green Power has now started construction of Paradela, a 12MW, six-turbine projects which is expected to be operational by the end of the year, and will be able to generate over 42 gigawatt-hours a year of electricity.
Paradela is one of three wind farms the company is currently building in Galicia, the others being the 52MW Serra das Penas and the 8MW Pena Ventosa facilities. These Galician projects are part of the 540MW assigned to Enel Green Power in renewable energy tenders organised by the Spanish government in 2017, with other projects to be located in Aragon, Andalusia, Castile y Leon, and Castile-La Mancha. Once operational, they should be able to generate about 1750GWh a year.
Construction has now begun on the Oyster Bay wind farm, which will have capacity of around 140MW, in the Kouga Local Municipality in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. The construction of Oyster Bay is Enel’s fourth wind project in the country, and will involve an investment of approximately €180 million.
Once fully up and running, which is due in Q2 of 2021, the 41-turbine Oyster Bay is expected to generate around 568 GWh per year, eliminating an annual emission of around 590,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
While this list of upcoming projects is by no means definitive, it’s definitely encouraging to see so many new construction projects on the horizon and to see the renewables industry, and wind energy in particular, continuing to drive itself forward.