First year Review Meeting completed for HiPRwind

Amsterdam, 1 December 2011:


The HiPRWind project today completed its First Annual Review meeting with the European Commission. The achievements of the project in its first full operating year were presented by selected members of the project team and commented upon by Commission and independent expert reviewers.


Meanwhile, at the record-attendance Offshore Wind Conference arranged nearby, attendees – which included several hyperwinders – participated in technical and policy presentations, debates and roundtables throughout the week.


We take the liberty of quoting our friends at EWEA, who published an excellent and lively blog from the event:


Today [30 November] the focus was on five of offshore wind energy’s leading manufacturers – Alstom, Nordex, Gamesa, Siemens and Vestas – in the battle of the big turbines.


Each manufacturer outlined the benefits of their future turbines, with the main differences lying in the generators (direct drive, hybird or gear) and in blade length. It was clear that the industry’s leading players are aiming high – at 7 MW machines with rotor diameters of up to 154 meters.


‘Today’s contest proves that the technology is there and ready,’ Athanasia Arapogiani co-chair of the session said. ‘These new turbines have a bigger energy yield, they are better suited to the sea environment and they are more cost efficient [than today's models]‘, Arapogiani said. Manufacturers said that prototypes of these new big machines will be ready over the next one to two years, and on the market shortly after that.


During audience questions, one interesting theme emerged – floating turbines. The majority of the manufacturers said their big turbines could be converted to fit floating structures for use in deeper water – watch this space!



HiPRWind would like to add “Watch this space as well”.


Whereas floating solutions are the focus of our project, we share the concern, much exposed at the EWEA conference, that costs for fixed installations remain on an increasing trend. It is essential for the whole offshore wind industry to progress that costs come down.


However, it was a key assumption in the planning of HiPRWind, clearly described already in our proposal from 2009, that costs would remain high until at least 2015. If, as was suggested by some at Amsterdam, this trend reversal is delayed further this will in fact strengthen still more the relevance of our project. It may even be that, in some cases and on certain conditions, floating solutions may offer a faster way to cost reduction than anticipated by the majority of industry observers. This was the case for oil & gas in the 1970’s and ‘80’s… 


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