More power, faster rollouts, lower costs
Wind remains one of the most popular and stable sources of renewable energy. In fact, wind is among the world’s fastest growing renewable energy sources, expected to provide 12% of global electricity demand by 2020. Compared to other technologies, from nuclear power to coal, onshore wind can offer energy at the lowest Total Cost of Ownership, taking into account everything from development to maintenance costs.
Today, global installed wind energy capacity is almost 487 GW. The European Wind Energy Association expects 320 GW of wind energy capacity will be installed in the EU by 2030, of which 254 GW will be onshore.
The falling cost of wind power, efficiency increases, and attractive policies are expected to boost growth even further. What’s more, the 2015 Paris Climate Summit (COP 21) saw a broad coalition agree to halt global warming at 2°C, or even 1.5° - an important driver for renewables. In addition, wind energy continues to show solid global growth. In many regions around the world, onshore wind is seen as an essential component to the energy transformation, often together with solar energy.
Compared to alternatives (nuclear, coal), the CAPEX and OPEX are very attractive. Of course, the faster an installation is completed, the faster it can start producing energy – and generating Return on Investment.
Why wind ?
- Wind offers the lowest Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) available. The Annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis from leading financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard (November 2017) indicates that wind offers the lowest energy cost of all current technologies – and that’s without factoring in subsidies.
- Onshore wind can compete with fossil fuels and other renewables on price – and it is becoming even more so as fossil fuel power costs increase.
- Increasing yields thanks to longer blades, taller towers and more powerful generators.
- Once wind turbines are up and running, their carbon footprint remains extremely low.
- Impact on the environment is limited. It’s possible to farm around onshore wind turbines, which emit no toxins or waste.
- Onshore turbines typically have an uptime around 98% and require limited maintenance downtime.
- Current turbines already extract almost 50% of energy conveyed in wind.
- Technological advances include the ability to harvest energy at low wind speeds.
Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) makes it possible to compare the cost of energy from different sources. LCOE is calculated by adding up all costs incurred throughout the generating technology’s lifetime divided by the units of energy produced during the lifetime of the project. The result is expressed as units of currency per kilowatt hour.
Today, the main challenge is to optimize the layout of a wind farm in order to minimize CAPEX and OPEX while simultaneously maximizing the power output. To do this, we need to examine four questions:
- How to build and arrange the Medium Voltage Alternating Current Collector network that connects turbine substations in a way that minimizes CAPEX?
- How to decrease OPEX by minimizing the number of joints?
- How to maximize output power in a given investment?
- How to optimize the cable supply together with the laying process?
Nexans offers an integrated approach to ‘Balance of Plant’, combining engineering, installation, cables and interconnect product supply. We participate from the earliest stage of your project, offering engineering support to optimize network engineering, based on our expertise in cables and cable laying. From the outset, Nexans Engineering Service Department works with Project Developers and Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) stakeholders to find optimization possibilities.
Using GPS position data, site surveys, soil examinations and data on power generation from each turbines, ampacity of cables and trenches cross-section design, network layout and configuration are optimized. The main outcome is, in most of our projects, a reduction of trenches and cable lengths. The ideal connection and branching points are precisely determined, based on fixed turbine positions. Precisely determining the optimized cable mix, cross-section balance, joint locations, optimized trenches sizes and filling rate make it possible to reduce CAPEX and OPEX whilst maximizing output power generation. Today’s high loads can be transported over greater distances to substations without difficulty.
Total solutions provider utilizing group and partner resources
- Engineering competences to support your own engineering team
- CAPEX savings based on optimized trenching & cables lengths
- OPEX savings based on optimized number of joints
- Cable and interconnection solutions compliant with relevant International and Local Standards
- Reduction of overall number of joints
- Point-to-point circuits for the most effective solutions
- Longer cable length per drum
- Long length single core cables trefoil on site
- Many years of experience in laying very long cables to substations
- Single system warranty
- Single point of responsibility and liability combines product supply and laying: peace of mind for installers, owners, operators and other stakeholders.
Innovative installation methods, combining fully-integrated drum carrier, cable binding and laying solution allows single core cables, trefoiled into three-core cable on site, to be continuously laid together with fiber optic and earthing cables. This unique one-step cable installation solution reduces the number of drums, jointing sections and joints and on-site installation days. It also generates tangible installation cost savings while reducing the number of potential service interruption during plant operation.
Our fully integrated solution comes with a single warranty and liability document. It doesn’t only optimize costs and maximize efficiency right away, but also makes sure you’re ready to accommodate ever-increasing turbine output levels.
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