Estonian news - etea July 5, 2013
Baltic News Service, 04.07.2013
A pilot project for a new product of the Estonian wind power cluster – an offshore wind turbine foundation resistant to the ice conditions of the Baltic Sea – was discussed this week at a meeting between Mark Berman, chairman of the supervisory board of BLRT Group, and Martin Kruus, CEO of Nelja Energia and head of the Estonian Wind Power Association.
“Most of Europe’s offshore wind parks are situated in the North Sea but investors are increasingly turning their eyes towards the Baltic Sea. The ice conditions that have so far been considered rough may just turn out to be an opportunity for Estonian industrial companies if we are able to offer an offshore wind turbine foundation designed to endure the ice and its movement. Our group has both the experience and the ambition for it,” Berman told BNS.
“We need an ice-class foundation for building Estonian offshore wind parks and it also could be sold to other Baltic Sea countries where wind park projects with building permits exceed 2,000 megawatts,” Kruus said.
In the course of the project a pilot foundation is planned to be installed in Estonia to measure the forces affecting it in ice conditions and thereafter to optimize mass production costs of designing, building and installing the foundation. In real ice conditions it is possible to test also the accessibility of the pilot foundation and the possibility of maintenance work.
Furthermore, the pilot project helps to gather necessary additional information on environmental conditions and weather forces.
The wind power cluster was set up in 2010 with the aim of intensifying cooperation among Estonian wind energy developers and enhancing their competitiveness. Steered by the Estonian Wind Power Association, the cluster has 13 companies and two universities as its members. The offshore wind power work group is led by BLRT Marketex, a holding of the industrial group BLRT Grupp, energy producers Eesti Energia and Nelja Energia, and Empower 4 Wind which offers wind turbine maintenance services. The funding of the cluster is provided by the members of the consortium, the enterprise board of the Tallinn city government and the European Regional Development Fund.