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A refreshed partnership between DNV and other organizations will develop standardized languages to integrate assets and drive digitalization in the energy sector.
The energy sector is shackled by unsolved challenges of data and information in the supply chain and the lifetime of physical assets. A lack of standardization and a common digital language results in waste, inefficiencies, transparency issues and safety risk.
Instead of standards and technical information being written in the same style with the same vocabulary, there are multiple terminologies, making it difficult for assets to integrate and communicate with each other.
Fixing this problem was part of the scope and ambitions of the four-year Joint Industry Project (JIP) READI. Managed by DNV, READI aimed at standardizing and developing a digital language to automate business-critical processes through the entire lifecycle of industrial assets.
Now, with support from DNV and other industry companies, POSC Caesar Association (PCA), a member-based association with roots back several decades in the energy sector and a participant of the READI JIP, will build on the aims of reaching standardization and digitalization in the energy sector.
PCA will work to enable standardization through the creation of common digital vocabulary and an aligned set of grammar rules that will enable interoperability across disciplines, phases, and players. Vocabulary and grammar rules will be based on information shared with PCA by industry services.
“We need to make sure that all assets across all sectors, such as offshore, wind, grid and power producers, can speak together on all technical and operational issues,” said Magne Berg, Head of Assurance Solutions, DNV.
“Right now, it is like a guidebook for one asset is written in French, but its connecting asset operates in Spanish, and they find it hard to talk to each other. We need to get a common language.”
DNV is a member of PCA and a main partner in helping achieve its standardization objectives. Other main stakeholders are Equinor, Aker BP, Aibel, and Aker Solutions.
“The future of assurance depends on digitalization and standardized, machine-readable information. This is a vital project to ensure Digital Solutions and DNV can give our customers world-class, interoperable products that will help them work through the energy transition,” added Magne Berg.
New Managing Director to lead PCA
To lead and guide PCA through the project, a new Managing Director (MD) Lars Dag Berthinussen has been appointed.
Dag Berthinussen is no stranger to the industry, having held key leadership positions and successfully spearheaded digitalization initiatives in the energy sector. His strong background in driving business performance, change management, and program management will be instrumental in advancing PCA’s goals and an excellent fit for the position.
“We are pleased to welcome Lars Dag Berthinussen as our new Managing Director. With his wealth of knowledge and expertise, we are confident that Lars will lead PCA to new heights and further strengthen our commitment to open standards and industry collaboration.” Jon Theodorsen, Equinor Chairperson of the PCA Board.
“Lars Dag Berthinussen’s appointment as the Managing Director of PCA is an exciting development. With his proven leadership abilities and extensive industry experience, I have no doubt that Lars will contribute significantly to the advancement of open standards and the achievement of PCA’s goals,” said Magne Berg.
Jan De Nul Group’s Les Alizés starts construction of Ørsted’s wind farms
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Jan De Nul Group’s newest crane vessel, Les Alizés, kicks off her maiden assignment by installing the first of 107 monopile foundations for the construction of Ørsted’s Gode Wind 3 and Borkum Riffgrund 3 wind farms in Germany. Delivered early 2023, Les Alizés arrived in the Dutch Eemshaven at the end of June, where the first monopiles were loaded before departing to the installation location in the German North Sea.
In total Les Alizés will transport and install 106 wind turbine monopile foundations and one offshore substation foundation, including associated topside for the offshore wind farms Gode Wind 3 (253 MW) and Borkum Riffgrund 3 (913 MW) in the German North Sea, developed by the Danish leader in offshore renewables Ørsted.
Both wind farms will use 11-MW Siemens Gamesa turbines. The Borkum Riffgrund 3 more particularly will be located adjacent to Ørsted’s existing offshore wind farms Borkum Riffgrund 1 and Borkum Riffgrund 2. Gode Wind 3 will be close to Ørsted’s Gode Wind 1 and 2.
Ørsted will use monopiles without transition piece. Before installation, scour protection will be installed at all 107 locations.
Once completed, these wind farms will generate enough electricity to power approx. 1.2 million German households every year.
Jörg Kubitza, Managing Director for Ørsted in Germany: “With the installation of the foundations for our two new projects this year, we are laying the ground work for additional, large-scale renewable energy at sea. And thus further establish offshore wind power as a pillar of the energy transition. I am pleased that we have now reached the next milestone. In addition to the required capacities that will have to be installed in the coming decades, our projects also exemplify how offshore wind power can be built out in a value-creating and competitive manner in Germany – if the right framework conditions are in place.”
Peter De Pooter, Manager Offshore Renewables at Jan De Nul Group: “This contract is an important milestone for us, as it is the maiden project for our new Next-Gen heavy lift vessel Les Alizés. We are looking forward to install and complete both wind farms in close collaboration with our client Ørsted. Together with Voltaire’s first mission and other projects, we are proud to contribute to construct the global transition to renewable energy by installing these offshore wind turbines in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.”
LES ALIZÉS IS THE RESPONSE TO GLOBAL TRENDS WITHIN THE OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY SECTOR
Les Alizés is a Next-Gen offshore installation vessel. Thanks to her dimensions and impressive lifting and loading capacities, Les Alizés will be able to load out, transport and install multiple units of the largest and heaviest wind turbine foundations. In addition, as a crane vessel that floats, it will be able to install heavier and larger foundations into deeper waters and in more challenging seabed conditions.
The vessel is fitted with a highly advanced exhaust filtering system by means of a Selective Catalytic Reduction system and a Diesel Particulate Filter, making it the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv), moreover Stage V-certified.
This vessel investment is a response to the global trend within the offshore wind energy sector to design and install increasingly larger wind turbines.
SeaVolt to installs first floating solar energy test platform offshore
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SeaVolt, a collaboration between Tractebel, DEME, and Jan De Nul, gets ready for its first floating solar energy test platform to be installed offshore. The platform floatation system is currently located in the port of Ostend, on the Belgian North Sea coast, where main contractor Equans is finalizing assembly. The test platform will be the first installation in the Belgian North Sea aimed at the large-scale development of offshore solar energy and is scheduled to be towed offshore, anchored, and put into operation to gather data for at least a year starting in August.
The potential of SeaVolt is unlimited and pioneers the great potential of offshore solar energy. Unlike existing floating solar installations on lakes, SeaVolt has developed a concept specifically tailored to the conditions of rough seas. With its modular design, this technology is highly suitable for installation as a complement to offshore wind farms.
Julie De Nul, CEO Jan De Nul Group: “We are thrilled to launch the SeaVolt technology, which represents the culmination of years of hard work and innovation in offshore PV technology together with our partners. As we enter the offshore test phase, we are excited to see what this technology will become. The floating solar energy test platform is a crucial step in developing a reliable and sustainable solution. It serves as a laboratory to gain knowledge and push the technological development further. We believe SeaVolt has the potential to play a crucial role in optimizing the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms. We are excited to shape the future of renewable energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
Testing the solar panels
Under the framework of the Blue Cluster funded research project MPVAQUA and additional support from the federal government via BELSPO, the partners within SeaVolt together with UGent are ready to conduct a year-round open-sea testing inside the POM-West-Vlaanderen owned ‘Blue Accelerator offshore test zone’. This proof of concept installation will gather crucial data on the impact of waves, rain and salt sprays on various solar panels with different PV panel configurations. In addition, the impact of varying inclinations, caused by waves and wind, on the energy output will be closely monitored. The test aims to determine the level of protection required to shield the solar panels from seawater and bird droppings.
Testing the floater
Amongst other materials suitable for this floating technology, SeaVolt has chosen to use novel light-weight carbon fiber material in this test installation. This material presents potential benefits for offshore use however is not often used in such harsh marine conditions yet.
Optical embedded fibers and sensors attached to the structure will assess if the structural integrity (vibrations/fatigue) of the material is in line with the numerical models and results obtained from the ocean wave tank and wind tunnel tests. Since the floating structure and solar panels are driving the cost, these measurements are indispensable for further financial assessment.
Testing the ecological impact
In addition to technical tests, the SeaVolt test installation will also address ecological aspects. Various materials will be evaluated based on prevention of adverse effects on the marine environment. The test results will determine the selection of materials for further development. It is important not only to minimize the attachment of excessive marine growth to the floater to maintain its buoyancy, but also to attract and repel the appropriate species to achieve optimal interaction with the ecosystem, creating an “artificial reef.” Lastly, specific tests will be conducted to assess combining the floater systems with mussel cultivation and oyster farming, which present specific challenges.
This crucial test, targeting all aspects of SeaVolt technology to develop a reliable, cost-efficient, and sustainable solution, will be the first installation in the Belgian North Sea aimed at the large-scale development of offshore solar energy. Since this test is only containing a few solar panels for a rather large floater construction, it is not to be seen as a first prototype of the full scale. It is rather a laboratory to gain knowledge and push the technological development further. The expectations for this new application of solar energy are high. Offshore solar energy provides an additional opportunity to produce local green energy. Combined with offshore wind, it aligns with the strategy of multi-use sites and can optimize the use of existing electrical infrastructure.
Promising European market
The significant potential of offshore solar energy is also recognized internationally. It has captured the attention of the European Green Deal plans, with an announcement by the Dutch government to have 3 GW of offshore solar energy in operation by 2030, and concrete projects under development up to 100 MW. Technology development is essential to achieve these ambitions. With this offshore test, SeaVolt is taking the critical initial step to further advance large-scale marine floating solar energy. Based on the experience gained so far, the developed technology and the consortium behind it are today viewed as amongst most promising by the market.
Next steps for SeaVolt
Meanwhile, ecological research and economic research is ongoing amongst others covering future LCOE evolutions analysis. To ensure further development, Seavolt is preparing for a large-scale demonstration project within an offshore wind farm. As such the potential of integrating offshore floating solar inside an offshore windfarm will be further assessed. If all goes well, large-scale offshore solar energy is expected to become a reality and in this case, Seavolt hopes to secure a significant share in this new development of the already strong Belgian offshore sector.
EU member states agree to the “FuelEU Maritime” regulation
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EU Member States cleared the way to bring sustainable renewable fuels into maritime transport. They approved the “FuelEU Maritime” regulation. The EU Parliament had also voted in favour of the agreement reached in the trilogue procedure.
The new requirements will apply to ships with a gross tonnage of more than 5,000 entering, leaving or staying in ports in the territory of an EU Member State. In addition, shore-side electricity will be mandatory for container and passenger ships from 2030. The use of synthetic fuels from renewable energies will be specifically promoted for shipping.
Federal Minister of Transport Dr Volker Wissing:
After we were recently able to achieve a breakthrough for maritime climate protection at UN level, we are now pushing the actual transformation towards climate-neutral shipping at European level with the “FuelEU Maritime” initiative. The draft regulation is open to technology and takes into account the special competitive conditions in the maritime transport sector. The main objective is to increase the demand for renewable and low-carbon fuels and their consistent use, thereby decisively reducing greenhouse gas emissions in maritime transport. The initiative is thus expected to play a fundamental role in the implementation of the European Climate Change Act for shipping.
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke:
Today the EU has set a decisive course for more climate protection and the use of renewable fuels in maritime transport. Shipping companies will continue to rely on fuels in the future, because electric drives are not yet an option for long-distance transport. In maritime transport, e-fuels from renewable energies are therefore a sensible climate-friendly alternative. With the new requirements, the EU is giving manufacturers and shipping companies the necessary planning security, driving forward the development of modern technologies and making renewable fuels for maritime transport ready for the market. But there are also shadows: The fact that fuels from fossil sources and nuclear energy are also permitted as a compliance option is regrettable. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) will continue to advocate the use of predominantly synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources in order to make maritime transport climate neutral.
FuelEU Maritime lays down uniform EU-wide rules for limiting the greenhouse gas intensity of the energy used on board a ship, and thus above all the fuels. The regulation from the Fit for 55 package stipulates that shipping in the EU must reduce its emissions by 2 percent from 2025, 6 percent from 2030, 14.5 percent from 2035, 31 percent from 2040, 62 percent from 2045 and 80 percent from 2050. The GHG intensity reduction targets are set against the 2020 average GHG intensity of energy consumed on board ships. The greenhouse gas emissions of all fuels are assessed on the basis of a life cycle assessment (so-called well-to-wake (WtW) approach that includes the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide). All fuels are permitted as a compliance option; the legislative initiative is thus technology-neutral.
The use of synthetic fuels is encouraged by a special mechanism: if the share of synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources (so-called “renewable fuels of non-biological origin, RFNBO) in the fuel mix does not exceed one percent in 2031, a mandatory minimum quota of two percent for these RFNBO fuels will automatically come into force from 2034. Beyond the use of alternative fuels, the FuelEU Maritime Regulation obliges container and passenger ships in ports in the territory of a Member State to use shore-side electricity or alternatively zero-emission technologies for on-board energy supply.
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 January 2025, with the exception of certain Articles which shall apply from 31 August 2024.