TotalEnergies enters US offshore wind race, energy transition smart thinking, and go big or go home!

Another giant from Europe this week joined the dash to US wind at sea, as it becomes ever clearer that America’s coming offshore energy revolution will be dominated by power and fossil players from across the Atlantic.

French supermajor TotalEnergies unveiled plans for stateside alliances with EnBW and Simply Blue Energy as it joined fellow oil & gas players BP, Shell and Equinor, and power groups Orsted, EDPR, Engie, EDF and Iberdrola in a European carve up of the seabed opportunities off the US.

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné said the partnerships, and others the group has struck in offshore wind, are crucial to a company that is a latecomer to a sector that presents risks even to the largest players.

The supermajor will enter a US market that gathers pace by the week, with the Shell-EDF Atlantic Shores 1.5GW project now under review off New Jersey, and Vineyard Wind sweetening its bid for its recently unveiled Commonwealth Wind plan with an offer to redevelop Salem Harbor into the US state of Massachusetts’ second offshore wind port.

OEM Siemens Gamesa added to its growing order haul in the US with an 800MW-plus confirmation of deals with the Orsted-Eversource alliance that could prove the trigger for a first American turbine manufacturing facility.

The energy transition is going nowhere without the type of technical innovation that featured in a spate of articles from Recharge this week, with floating wind – as so often – heavily represented.

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With floating turbine platforms already hitting the water, attention is turning to the floating substations that will be needed to gather and export the power from future megaprojects, as evidenced by a new heavyweight tie-up between Linxon and its parent companies Hitachi ABB Power Grids and SNC-Lavalin/Atkins fleshing out designs to help wind “make the leap” into floating.

Floating is also the target of a “world first” deployment by Equinor of a ‘sea drone’ at its pioneering Hywind Scotland project to check how fish and biomass are thriving at an operational floating wind farm – an issue that will become increasingly vital as giant new projects spring up around the world.

Back on dry land, researchers at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are looking at options to transport 100-metre-plus turbines blades by rail, potentially a game-changer for logistics but one that will require “controlled flexing” of the blades themselves.

And in another exclusive insight into the technologies that could transform the energy transition, Recharge talked to a start-up that claims it has developed an emissions-free process that will make hydrogen from natural gas at such a low price it could give away the H2 for free.

If innovation is helping renewables think smarter, there is also plenty of thinking bigger going on as the energy transition contemplates scaling up at a rate that can only be described as epic.

This week alone we reported on plans to connect 10GW of Moroccan wind and solar to the UK via a 3,000km-plus cable, a green hydrogen mega-project in Mauritania that could spur Africa’s first offshore wind farm, and the scoping in by Orsted of gargantuan 27MW turbines – way beyond anything near the market so far – in a future-proofing exercise for a Swedish offshore project.

However, this week’s prize for big numbers goes to consultancy DNV, whose CEO Ditlev Engel spoke exclusively to Recharge about the $60 trillion of finance redirection to the energy transition that’s needed by 2050.

This post appeared first on Recharge News.

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