Areva to Grab Share of UK Offshore Wind Industry

Areva to Grab Share of UK Offshore Wind Industry

Areva SA plans to take a share of the UK’s offshore wind market, reported Bloomberg. The company is talking with customers across Europe and has more projects in addition to those announced in Germany and France.

“Our competitiveness is as we move into deeper waters where the later Round 2 and Round 3 projects come into play,” said Julian Brown, country director for Areva wind in the UK.

In January 2010 Britain awarded licenses for 32 GW  projects in its 3rd round of offshore wind farm tenders. Energy Minister Charles Hendry said that Britain is planning to develop 18 GW of offshore wind by 2020, what brings it closer to its EU carbon emissions and renewable energy goals.

Spain’s Iberdrola SA (IBE), E.ON AG and Vattenfall AB of Germany, all clients of Areva, were winners of the UK round three. IBE is member of an Areva group that won approval this month from the French government to develop a 500 MW offshore wind farm in Brittany, and E.ON and Vattenfall are in a group that developed the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm. That is Germany’s first wind farm, where 6 of Areva’s 5 MW turbines were installed.

Areva will have more than 1 GW of turbines installed before the UK round three projects start their development in 2014 and 2015, said Jean Huby, head of Areva’s wind-power unit. “To raise the funding for the U.K. projects, developers need to be able to reassure people that this is going to work,” he said. “By then, we will have done this 80, 160 times,” he added, referring to the two largest German projects in deeper waters.

Julian Brown said that he is developing a plan for the UK’s industry that will bring some manufacturing by Areva or its suppliers to the UK.

Areva plans to develop bigger turbines, but further details remain unknown at the moment. Its competitors (Siemens AG, Suzlon Energy Ltd.’s RePower unit and Alstom SA) have shown their 6 MW turbines, while Vestas is developing a 7 MW offshore machine.

Offshore WIND staff, April 27, 2012; Image: EWEA

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