LEED Platinum Siemens Headquarters Opens in Masdar City

by Zachary Shahan.

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE, is a LEED Certified Platinum building.

Masdar and Siemens just opened another cornerstone to young and exciting Masdar City. The LEED Platinum Siemens headquarters is an amazing example of how energy efficiency and quality design can offer huge benefits to the environment as well as the personnel working in the building.

An initial requirement of the building was that it not cost more than the average Siemens office building of its size. That target was achieved, while also cutting energy use ~50% compared to a conventional building of its size.

The building’s facade is very carefully designed to prevent heat gain from excess light while still bringing in enough daylight to prevent the need for artificial lighting during much of the day. The building is oriented and designed to maximize the flow of cool air, especially in the public space under the building, something very helpful in Abu Dhabi’s extremely hot climate. Lighting, cooling, and other building needs are automated using Siemens’ state-of-the-art building automation technologies. Building materials aimed at maximizing energy efficiency and comfort are used throughout the building. The building is designed to minimize the use of unnecessary materials. And a tremendous amount more has gone into making this building extremely efficient, cost competitive, and very comfortable for its tenants. It would probably take days or weeks to go through everything.

Masdar City actually contracted the architecture firm and developer of this project, and is leasing the building to Siemens. However, Masdar City, Siemens, and the architects designing the build worked very closely to make sure the building achieved requirements on everyone’s end. Here an exclusive video for a little more info on the building as well as some inner and outer view:

Siemens will house employees ~800 employees in this Middle East headquarters. Along with dignitaries from the region, Siemens executives, and Masdar executives, I was able to enjoy the unveiling of the building yesterday. Sometime in the coming days, I’ll publish another video about the high-tech insides building (an interview with some high-level Siemens employees), but for now, here are some images and quotes from today’s event:

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 1
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 2

“This LEED Platinum certified building demonstrates that resource efficiency can be cost competitive in our market and represents the standard of buildings that need to be more widely adopted across the UAE and the region,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The building is the first LEED Platinum building in the region, and the most efficient.

This Masdar City anchor building “has won 16 prestigious awards, including the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012 in the Offices Category and the International Property Award Winners – Arabia 2012 for Best Office Architecture,” Siemens and Masdar noted in a joint press release.

*Full disclosure: My trip to Abu Dhabi  for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was provided by Masdar. Nonetheless, I was not required to write on any particular topics and am free to voice my genuine opinions on everything I cover — which I do.

First two images courtesy Siemens & Masdar. Other images by CleanTechnica / Zachary Shahan.

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This article, Siemens & Masdar Open LEED Platinum Building In Masdar City (Exclusive Video), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Massive Cape Wind Project Kicks Into High Gear

by Tina Casey.

The global wind turbine leader Siemens has just inked a deal to provide its offshore turbines to the massive new Cape Wind wind power project, and that one contract could shake the offshore wind power market to its core. You know what they say about waking the sleeping tiger, right?

For the past several years, other nations (notably the UK, China, Belgium, and Denmark) have been going at the offshore wind industry hammer and tongs while the US industry has been practically comatose, with just a couple of demonstration-scale projects to its credit. Cape Wind is going to change all that.

Cape Wind artist rendition (cropped)
Cape Wind artist rendition (cropped) courtesy of Energy Management Inc.
How Significant Is Cape Wind?

To give you an idea of offshore wind power potential in the US, a Stanford University study from 2009 estimated that the Atlantic Coast alone could provide enough offshore wind power for about one-third of the US, which translates into every major city along the eastern seaboard and everything in between.

As the first commercial offshore wind farm in the US, Cape Wind will be the anchor for a coordinated, multistate effort to tap into that potential, through an initiative launched by the Obama Administration called the Atlantic Offshore Wind Consortium.

As the first of its kind, Cape Wind illustrates the many hurdles faced by the US offshore wind industry, including local, state and federal permitting issues as well as lawsuits from landowners and other stakeholders in the Cape Cod region.

The expectation is that lessons learned from getting Cape Wind off the drawing board will help streamline the process in other coastal states. The Department of Energy is already anticipated that nationally, installed US offshore wind capacity will grow from virtually zero to 3.5 gigawatts in the next five years.

The Cape Wind Project and Siemens Wind Turbines

Cape Wind started picking up speed in 2011, when the project got its Department of Energy permit.

Cape Wind will consist of 130 wind turbines with a combined capacity of up to 420 megawatts. Its developer, Energy Management Inc., estimates that even in average winds the turbines will generate enough electricity for about three-quarters of Cape Cod and its islands.

Last spring, the project passed an important financing milestone, and the new contract with Siemens was just announced earlier this week, on December 23.

The contract calls for Siemens to provide its 3.6 megawatt offshore wind turbines along with a 15-year service agreement.

Green Jobs And Offshore Wind Power

Although Siemens’s global home is Germany, the company is careful to note that its US projects come along with US jobs and investment. According to company figures, about 60,000 people already work for Siemens in the US, and management of the Cape Wind contract will be conducted from US offices:

Siemens opened its North American Offshore Wind Office in Boston in 2010 to be closer to its U.S. and Canadian customers, and specifically to work with Cape Wind. Project management for the Cape Wind project will be managed from the Boston office, while the ESP [electric service platform] scope of work will be managed from the Company’s Transmission operations in Cary, North Carolina, and the long-term maintenance program will be managed from the company’s Americas headquarters located in Orlando, Florida.

Components for the Cape Wind’s offshore electric service platform (the part of the project that converts voltage from the turbines) will also be manufactured in Maine under a subcontract to the US firm Cianbro.

It’s worth noting that Maine’s political image has been somewhat mixed under the leadership of Governor Paul LePage, who has touted global warming as a good thing for the state’s economy, but Maine Senator Angus King has been a vocal advocate for climate management and he had this to say about the state’s role in Cape Wind:

I am very pleased that Cianbro, a Maine-based company and partner in UMaine’s floating offshore wind project, will join forces with Siemens and Cape Wind of Massachusetts to produce the offshore substation for an industry-leading offshore wind farm. By helping to generate renewable energy, and by putting New Englanders to work in the process, projects like this will not only benefit our environment, but our economy as well.

About Those Offshore Wind Turbines…

Energy Management went with an established global leader when it selected Siemens for the contract. The turbines are the same model used in a number of existing offshore wind farms and Siemens already has contracts to provide it for eight upcoming offshore projects.

Siemens’s SWT-3.6-120 model is designed specifically for sites with constrained capacity (the company also offers a model with a slightly higher capacity of 4.0 MW).

As part of an integrated offshore system, the turbines are equipped with a generous helping of automatic and remotely operated equipment, including Siemens’s proprietary WebWPS SCADA system, a vibration monitoring system that enables web-based reprogramming, and a self-diagnosing controller.

The turbines are also designed to start up automatically when wind speeds average about ten mph, increase their output at a steady rate as wind speed rises up to about 30 mph.

The turbines automatically “feather” into shutdown mode when wind speeds get too high (about 56 mph), and automatically reset once wind speeds drop.

The Solyndra Of Wind Power, Or Not

Let’s note for the record that Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, had Cape Wind in his sights last year, which is no surprise considering the Congressman’s reputation as a climate change denier.

With Issa sniffing around Cape Wind’s approval process, the predictable result was that conservative media began comparing Cape Wind to the notorious Solyndra bankruptcy.

As with so many of the Congressman’s investigations, the Cape Wind query appears to have gone nowhere, especially now that the Siemens wind turbine contract has been signed, sealed, and delivered.

However, as recently as October 13, Human Events, which bills itself as a platform for “powerful conservative voices,” was still pounding the “another Solyndra in the making” drum, so stay tuned.

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This article, Massive Cape Wind Project (Finally) Kicks Into High Gear, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Tina Casey Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

U.S. Army Adds Wind Power To $7 Billion Renewable Energy Buy

by Tina Casey – Special to JBS News

Army adds wind power to $7 billion renewable energy buy.
Wind turbine at Fort Huachuca courtesy of US Army MWR.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has just announced that it has awarded contracts to 17 private companies to build wind turbines on Department of Defense facilities around the country. It’s the third in a series of four groups of renewable energy contracts for DoD that will eventually total $7 billion. Given the military’s avid pursuit of a more diversified fuel mix, it looks like certain members of Congress better get off the “drill, baby, drill” train once and for all, if they really do support our troops.

The first two groups of contracts were geothermal and solar, and the last will be biomass. We’re especially interested in the military’s sudden interest in wind power, though, because not too long ago there were concerns about wind turbines interfering with radar systems. So, what changed?

Seventeen Wind Power Contracts For The US Military

The $7 billion DoD renewable energy initiative is basically the same kind of power purchase agreement (PPA) that is commonplace in today’s solar power market. We taxpayers pay no money up front for the renewable energy facilities, which are constructed by private sector companies. We simply provide the real estate in the form of DOD properties, and agree to purchase power from the facilities. As with other PPA’s the idea is to save money by getting renewable energy at a lower price than the grid mix.

For the military, the additional benefit is smoothing out fossil fuel price spikes that can wreak havoc with budgets for training and other essential operations.

The seventeen contracts in the wind power round went to Acciona Energy North America Corporation, Cobra Industrial Services, Inc., Dominion Energy, Inc., Duke Energy, EDF Renewable Energy, Emerald Infrastructure, Enel Green Power North America, EverPower Wind Holdings, First Wind, Iberdrola Renewables, LTC Federal, NorthlandPower, Siemens Government Technologies, Stronghold Engineering, Turn Key Power Consortium, VERT Investment Group, and West Texas Power Company.

Among the familiar names in this group with a global reach, Siemens is well known for its wind turbine technology and it is also included in the geothermal group, and Italy-based Enel has had a strong presence in the US wind and solar markets as well as a long history in geothermal energy.

US Military Makes Peace With Wind Power

As for the military’s wary relationship with wind power, that began to change in the past several years with a growing body of knowledge on the interaction of wind farms with radar. The US company Aveillant, for example, has come up with a new 3-D holographic form of radar that can “declutter” readings from turbine blades and distinguish them from aircraft.

In 2010, the Army went online with its first wind power project, at the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, and the Coast Guard followed suit with a wind turbine at its Southwest Harbor Base in Maine. In 2012, Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts announced that its 6th Space Warning Squadron on Cape Cod would get a new pair of wind turbines, which will save the facility an estimated $1 million annually in energy costs.

Also worth mentioning is the involvement of military veterans in lobbying for the wind power industry, both for its role in in a stronger national defense and for its role as a valuable employment platform for veterans.

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This article, Army Adds Wind Power To $7 Billion Renewable Energy Buy, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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UK opens World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm

by John Brian Shannon

The recently completed London Array began operations July 4, 2013 as the largest offshore windfarm in the world.

London Array consists of 175 Siemens wind turbines producing enough electricity to power half a million homes in Kent, UK. That’s 65 percent of the homes in the Kent region.

London Array. Image courtesy: Arabian Gazette
London Array near the Outer Thames Estuary, UK.  Image courtesy: London Array

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, Secretary of State Edward Davey and the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, welcomed London Array partners at the inaugural event in Margate, Kent, UK.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar; Dr Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON, Brent Cheshire, Chairman and Managing Director, DONG Energy and Peter Loescher, President & CEO, Siemens, spoke about the successful completion of the wind farm project which began in July 2009 and became fully operational in July 2013.

“Its 175 turbines will be capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million homes and reduce harmful  CO2 emissions by over 900,000 tonnes every year.” — London Array website

London Array is 20 kilometres off the coast of Kent on a 245 square kilometre site. Phase One covers an area of 90 square kilometres and includes 175 Siemens 3.6 megawatt turbines with a combined capacity of 630 MegaWatts. A possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870 MegaWatts.

From the GOV.UK Press Release: Following a helicopter tour of the facility, the PM formally opened the wind farm with a speech in which he welcomed the investment in the UK clean energy sector and called it a “win for local jobs, skills & growth.” The Prime Minister hailed Britain as a great place to invest and the London Array as testimony to that.

“Today is very simple. It’s a triple win.”

“First of all it’s a huge win for Kent. This project has been built by some of the bravest seaman, some of the most talented engineers, some of the hardest workers, and it’s going to continue to bring benefits to people in Kent for many, many years to come.”

“The second thing that it’s a big win for is renewable energy. Sometimes people wonder; Can you really have renewable energy projects at scale?”

“What the London Array shows – powering half a million homes, the biggest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world – it absolutely shows that you can do scale renewables and you can do them right here in Britain.”

“And that leads me to the third and I think the most important win of all, and it’s a very big win for Britain. Sometimes people wonder; Can we in the West do big projects any more? Can we do the big investments? Isn’t that all happening somewhere else in the east and south of our world?”

“If you look at the UK you can see we can do big projects. Not only did we do a superb Olympics, but London Crossrail is the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe.”

“Not far from here is London Gateway, which is the biggest port construction taking place anywhere in Europe, and here you have the biggest offshore construction anywhere in the world.”

“I think this demonstrates Britain is a great place to invest.” — Prime Minister of the UK, the Right Honourable, David Cameron

The consortium has submitted an application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to seek approval to remove a planning condition and allow Phase Two of the project to go ahead. If approved, Phase Two would be capable of generating up to 240MW, giving a combined generating capacity of 870MW.

Energy companies DONG Energy (50%), E.ON (30%), and Masdar (20%) took part in the £1.5 billion Phase One joint venture. Over 75 organizations and 6,700 people were employed to bring the Array to fruition.

To find out more about the London Array offshore windfarm, sign up for the London Array newsletter to keep you up to date on the latest developments.

Or, feel free to download London Array’s 15-page PDF brochure.

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

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