Elys Energia – our customer, the spanish subsidiary of Elys France, a technical office with solid track of on Owner`s engineering and project management for renewables.
Forestalia – is business renewables group (wind, photovoltaic and biomass) based in Zaragoza and Madrid with portfolio exceeding 6 GW, some of it already in operation.
Mirova – leading player in sustainable finance based in Paris managing over 21.7 B€ in assets.
Engie – multinational electric utility company, which operates in the fields of energy transition, electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy, and petroleum.
With several clusters of projects planned for construction at the same time, the customer approached Elys with a big challenge ahead. Investigate all existing project documentation, provide a feasibility due diligence and give transparency to support the investment decision.
The initially 6 clusters and 24 projects were in advanced “ready for construction” state, the challenge meant going through complete sets of documentation for grid access, land usage, community permitting, technical engineering design plans, execution and schedule planning, contracts for equipment and construction management services, even a full project`s main diligence. All together a tremendous task of critical interlinked information, the majority in Spanish language, very difficult to navigate, summarise and grasp.
Other big challenges were the new Spanish grid code that was being discussed and expected to be approved during project execution, also the newly introduced wind farm compliance certification, that no one had gone through before, and even the COVID pandemic amidst construction. Finally, there was another big challenge, with so many projects advancing at the same time, there were a many engineering managers, project management, supervisors, health and safety managers, contractors, etc, entire team of people that would need to be brough together and aligned, bridging individual project daily challenges, filtering uncritical issues and back feeding important information to overall management.
When our customer approached us the challenge was set, our job consisted in organize and analyse quickly the enabling, authority related consenting documentation, providing a clear transparent clear / not clear status, and ask for missing information. This would enable the final customer to obtain a clear overview of which projects were ready to be built and which weren`t.
As a second step, go through all execution documents (engineering, land, supplier contracts etc), that would provide an overview of execution risk allocation, especially on critical issues of grid code compliance interfacing, and construction / supplies schedule. Any important critical missing technical definitions could be identified, and “too ambitious” program schedule expectatioins duly adapted, thus signaling potential tariff hurdles and impact.
The analysis made during diligence enabled and helped shortlisting the projects with less execution risk. After the analysis was performed 3 clusters and 10 projects were signed into execution, a reduction from the original proposal. Some projects were dropped since they had environmental and land concerns and eventually impact its construction.
During construction of the 10 projects, normal issues and problems arised, the majority of which could be dealt by a good performing project management team.
The main threats throughout the overall clusters continued to be electrical interfacing with 3rd party external entities, the shared usage of overhead lines, substations and its necessary modifications, delays of some supplies and the big topic “grid code compliance” as requirements were yet “non final “. Failing to be compliant meant a huge risk for the asset and a potential tremendous financial impact. Nevertheless, special deep technical efforts could be done and additional agreements were put in place with turbine suppliers and 3rd party certifier in order to cope with that moving risk.
Finally, and mostly important the final customer could successfully celebrate bringing the projects online and transition them into operation phase.
Belgium view map
“C-Power”, a consortium of Belgium and other European companies.
The project is located in the north see approximately 30 km north from Oostende where the onshore site was based. The site water depth is between 12m and 27,5m and the occupied area is 19,84 km2. The task consisted in supervision and trouble shooting of the commissioning works with special emphasis on communication, radar & navigation signals, webcams, documentation and field work instructions
In generally the see environment the whether and the accessibility of the turbines by itself was a challenge. The other main challenges in this project were methodology, onshore-offshore work organization and site coordination. The coordination of works was also a challenge as team shifts demand constant training and tight supervision of works. Finally the challenge of the industry being still inexperienced, balancing between performing activities onshore (downside of having a long waiting time for transport, installation etc) or performing the activities offshore (later on but expensive and more risky).
New methodology and works organization needed to be introduced to cope with the works onshore-offshore. Everything needed to be well prepared and double checked, personnel needed constant training before being shipped offshore. Because of work shifts and training needs on the teams (installation, commissioning, etc.) the supervision and training activities needed strong reinforcement.
The results where very good with slight schedule over-run due to whether (waves, rain and wind) conditions and some budgets updates. Mostly important the Customer was satisfied with the overall team and project performance and execution.
VENTIVESTE – Consortium led by GALP (34%), Martifer (31%) and Enersis (30 %), EFACEC (2%) and REpower (1%).
Senvion S.A. (called REpower Systems SE until 2014) was a German wind turbine manufacturer founded in 2001 in Germany, delivering the full EPC supply including over 100 turbines.
The consortium won the 2nd phase of the Portuguese Public Government tender, consisting in 400 MW distributed through several wind farms including the creation of clustered production facilities in remote regions. The project consisted as implementation of strategic development for the parties.
The development included permitting, grid access rights for several wind farms. Some areas had challenging environmental requirements including construction constrains for protected species and areas, multiple interfacing and crossing with public infrastructure, etc. Grid access had the challenge of buildling a 400 kV substation and overhead line for interfacing the TSO the company REN. Additionally, several other substations and overhead lines needed to be built to interconnect the different projects “Sernancelhe” and “3-Marcos”.
The local Senvion team, took responsibility for the majority of BoP works and turbine supply, including contracting and supervision. The local Portuguese Team needed to ramp up and find a solid combination of profils and own personnel to cope with the management of the 4 projects running in parallel and in a tight deadline.
The plan consisted in putting together a motivated and experienced team, finalize the detail engineering phase, execute the contracting scope definition with the contractors, start construction works as soon as possible in order to avoid the barrier of works during constrained season in order to comply with regulator deadlines.
Perform all pre-studies necessary to kick start the engineering as well as establish high level coordination with TSO specially in regard to grid performance and integration.
Find and engage experienced site supervision team to cope with high pressure and quality requirements from the customer. A difficult challenge would also be the safety management, not only during peak work execution but especially before start of each activity. With 4 projects going almost simultaneously in remote and disconnected areas, the amount of documentation (procedures, insurances, safety training, etc) to be verified and checked daily for workers and companies going in and out of the activities was tremendous.
In order to serve project tight schedule construction started soon, however that would create expected contractor bottlenecks regarding availability of workers and machinery tied in other projects. That challenge could be managed and solutions for acceleration were found.
Initially there were a number of delays caused by activities not starting in due time, documentation submittal and approval process was taking too long and cousing delays. In many cases the worker`s aptitude and registrations could not be verified and it caused construction delays. After a slow start the processes was accelerated and the companies were advised to pre-schedule submittals of documentation and avoid late approval and starts.
The supervision team was very experienced and could coordinate and antecipate contractor issues, including start of activities and sustain high performance and quality levels. The works could generally be executed in quality, in budget and in time.
Strong push and motivation from the team contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce accumulated delays during the 2 years of construction and challenges.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this big project online and profit for the long generating value it creates.
Argentina view map
As a part of its strategic development, Envision acquired the development rights of the project Vientos del Secano in the province of Bahia Blanca in Argentina.
The project was the company`s biggest wind farm in south America, consisting in 50 MW. The scope included the full BoP works and a transmission substation for the utility TRANSBA.
The tight overall deadline from the regulator CAMMESA set the frame or the entire development and construction process, making extremely challenging. Additionally the project was being developed at the same time as other local projects, increasing the overall resource bottleneck on all parties. To add up to the total challenge the main contractor was having a series of difficulties in the country and finally gave up the site and the works, leaving it all up to owner to reach the final objective.
The project would also be hit by the world pandemic affecting all works.
The plan consisted in building up a local project team, setting up the processes, the roles and responsibilities, the supply chain, reporting and project steering.
Permitting and grid interfacing engineering needed to be urgently addressed as the TSO for the 123 kV substation demanded a complex decision process and management.
Following the works abandonment of the main contractor, a sudden built up of own resources would be necessary in order to pick up and own the works, supplies and materials as they were left.
Commissioning procedures needed to be adapted and ad-hoc creative solutions put in place to deal with limitations of the COVID crisis and the travel restriction to and from Bahia Blanca area.
In order to serve project timeline and after long and challenging interface discussions with the TSO, fast decisions were taken, leading to increased project scope (extra switching station).
Additional Engineers and Site Managers were hired to manage all subcontractor`s works, left adrift by the leaving contractor.
Specially rented Motorhomes helped minimizing COVID impact, and housed technicians arriving for construction and commissioning. Local travel restrictions would otherwise require long quarantines before entering the region / site.
Remote commissioning procedures needed to be developed and implemented to allow an international team to support the activities on site.
Strong push from all sides contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce the delay expected due to all accumulating challenges.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this important milestone projects online and enjoy the returns the asset operation.
EPZ (Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland) the Electricity Production Company South-Netherlands, the operator of the coal- and nuclear power plants located in Borssele in the Netherlands.
OVET – Terminal Port Administrator in Vliessingen, administrating coal storage area
Senvion S.A. (called REpower Systems SE until 2014) was a German wind turbine manufacturer founded in 2001 in Germany, delivering the full EPC supply including the 2 x 6M turbines.
The customer approached REpower to deliver a full EPC turn-key project at a harbour location, in the middle of a coal storage area, an area administered by OVET an external 3rd party company. This consisted in the first challenge, install big 6M turbines and perform infrastructure works (access, transport, craning, cabling, foundations) in the middle of a densely covered area with huge 50m height pills of coal and administered by a 3rd party. Any clearance of space would not only take days but also have a considerable financial spending for project. The ground had a covering layer of asphalt for protection of underground infiltration and pollution. Any work needed to critically manage soil pollution risk. One of the biggest challenges however was to plan the execution of the wind farm works around the daily normal operation of the harbour / coal power plant, any project setback could jeopardize the energy delivery of the power plant. Electrically there was also a considerable risk in connecting two (2) powerful turbines to the somehow “weak” 30 kV harbour grid, it could affect the cranes and other used heavy machinery, even the testing of the turbines could impact the stable operation of the entire harbour and power station. On top of all these challenges, it was REpower`s first full scope project with BoP outside of Germany entirely managed by an internal team. The challenges and risk were big as the project moved into execution.
When our customer approached us the challenge was quite clear. Our job consisted in supporting him with a solid, safe design and planning, and execute perfectly. Our team managed the engineering design both civil and electrical, and provided the customer for a basis for a safe planning. On the engineering side the tasks included works specification, tendering, negotiation, contracting. On the project management side the tasks included planning coordination, execution supervision and final taking over.
To minimize impact and risk, the plan consisted in making just enough space between the big pills of coal for the unavoidable access, foundation work and crane assembly, thus minimizing impact inside critical coal area. The plan also considered safeguarding the existing protective asphalt layer, therefore planned for directional underground drilling for the cable trenches. 3 holes over 400m each were necessary to turbines, station and even power an auxiliary building nearby. Long PVC ducting works were performed outside critical area, and then pulled into final position in 1 attempt. Medium voltage, communication, low voltage power supply cables would would then be installed into the PVC ducts. The station and grid operation parameters were carefully evaluated and selected with the local grid operator (Delta), so that testing and operation ramp up had minimal impact on local grid stability.
Implement on site daily activity coordination as at times more than 5 subcontractors would need to work in parallel inside the critical area, and confined space.
The choices made during design enabled a solid planning a good start into execution. It helped our customer keeping the coal power plant operating and minimized the impact on OVET`s moving pills of coal. During drilling the team faced last minute uncertainties as exact information about dept of old buried cables and the risk of drilling through them arose. The results could have been disastrous and the impact on the harbor area and project huge. Still the team managed with help of local sub-contractor knowledge to overcome that barrier and managed the uncertainty. There were minor schedule delays due to whether (snow, rain and ice) conditions but finally the project was successfully installed and both turbines and power plant could operate stability. Mostly important our customer celebrated the great achievement of installing 2 big turbines in the middle of a coal yard and manage to bring it successfully into full operation.
As a part of its strategic development, Envision acquired the development rights of the project Garcia del Rio in the province of Bahia Blanca in Argentina.
The project was the company`s first wind farm in south America, consisting in 50 MW with full BoP works and a shared switching station with local utility EDES.
The tight overall deadline imposed by the regulator CAMMESA public auction, meant the overall project development and construction process needed to be slim and agile, creating a real challenge for permitting and pre-studies specially since the project was being developed together with a pipeline of other projects. To increase the challenge, the project was EDE`S first of its kind connected to their grid, so processes, engineering needed to be coordinated. The final challenge was setting up the asset management services team necessary to operate the wind farm.
The plan consisted in obtaining the necessary permits with the local project team, setup the engineering and sourcing requirements with the central Hamburg team, establish the supply chain including local construction and supervision services. Establish project level reporting and steering.
Perform pre-studies necessary for engineering as well as high level coordination with utility driven by internal local team.
Setup the Operation and Maintenance services, tasks were specified and sourced locally to enable fast response and correction in case of issues.
In order to serve the project`s tight schedule some parts of the supply chain were included in the main contractor`s scope.
Local team was reinforced with engineers and permitting executives, including 3rd party recognized experts and consultants enabling unblocking of administrative barriers. Site Managers assured subcontractor`s work quality.
Remote operation and local maintenance service contracts were created to enable efficient operation and triggering planned / unplanned maintenance of the asset.
Strong push and motivation from the team contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce accumulated delays in construction and supplies.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this important first project online and keep the team momentum for the upcoming project Vientos del Secano.
As a part of the strategic execution, Envision acquired a majority stake in the project pipeline of Vivenergia, including the project Dizlam in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.
The project had several first ones: first project in Yucatan, first project from the developer transitioning into construction, first project connecting with the new grid code, first Envision full BoP project overseas as an owner, first project under coordination of the new Hamburg Centre of Excellence (COE) office.
The scope included a complete update of an existing TSO substation, the construction however needed to happen maintaining service to existing load centres and arriving overhead lines. Integration of the project into CENACE (Dispatching and regulator) would also need to be well managed as it was the first wind power plant in Yucatan Peninsula.
Additionally, project financing and due diligence was performed in parallel with the initial stages of construction, adding up the challenges.
consequências 1) a contaminação so sub-solo ou 2) a paragem da operação de transporte de carvão para a central.
The plan consisted in building up a local project team, setting up the processes, the roles and responsibilities, the supply chain, reporting and project steering.
Permitting engineering needed to be urgently addressed as the TSO 115kV substation had long revision times. Additionally, there were 70 km of overhead line up to the PCC which also would need complex permitting. Finally
Grid code change would require also fast solutions and modification of existing engineering drawings, integration of a Statcom and the development of special SCADA control functionalities.
Integration of the power plant into CENACE needed to be subcontracted to the wind farm substation control and protection supplier, enabling the the turbine`s SCADA to act as data supplier.
Analysis of existing engineering / permitting enabled fast decisions to hire a separate engineering team within the TSO and accelerate works execution on the grid substation. Delays in this substation directly and strongly impacted the project.
Another crucial decision was subcontracting the integration of the power plant into CENACE`s dispatch centre, that enabled the team to focus completely on developing the new required functionalities for the grid code compliance.
Very fast electrical substation modifications enabled Statcom integration and enhance of overall performance. Failing to be compliant meant a huge risk for the asset and a potential tremendous financial impact. A strong push from all sides contributed decisively to accelerate and recover delays of inexperience from all parties.
Finally, and mostly important the final customer could successfully celebrate bringing such an important milestone projects online and transition it into operation.