On May 22nd Sweden CAP visited Goteborg Energi AB in Gothenburg, Sweden. Goteborg Energi is one of Sweden’s leading energy companies and provides their customers energy services, broadband, district heating, cooling, innovations in renewable energy technologies, etc. Goteborg Energi began the site visit by delivering an informative presentation on their work in terrestrial and offshore wind. After the presentation they brought us to their onshore wind turbine site to see Big Glenn.
Big Glenn, developed through a collaborative effort between Goteborg Energi, GE, Chalmers and SWPTC, is Sweden’s largest wind turbine. Big Glenn was an exciting site for Team Hexicon. As the team was able to view an incredible engineering feat and a larger than life wind turbine, similar to the smaller turbines that will be used on Hexicon’s platform. We could hardly control our excitement, as manifested by our light-hearted video introducing Big Glenn and Team Hexicon. (Please See Video I below)
Video Summary Part I:
Team Hexicon: Greg Brace, Rachel Isaman, Robert Keiser, Deepak Jose, & Kaitlin Hooper (not pictured)
The video begins as Rachel and Greg are amazed by the enormity of the wind turbine, Big Glenn. Robert swoops in, seemingly out of nowhere, to help illuminate the team about the nature of Big Glenn and the back story about how Big Glenn got its name. Robert explains that Big Glenn was named after Big Ben, the famous London clock tower. Rachel aptly mentions that Gothenburg is dubbed “Little London,” which is a humorous and appropriate correlation. Greg culminates the video by explaining that although Big Glenn is impressive so is Hexicon’s product, as Hexicon is constructing an offshore wind platform that can hold up to 24 wind turbines. (End Video Summary 1)
Team Hexicon and the Sweden CAP was then joined by Goteborg Energi’s Helena Nordstrom and Christer Pettersson. These two employees of Goteborg Energi worked tirelessly to make Big Glenn a reality. Helena and Christer first showed us the electric room where the transmission lines from the wind turbines ran to. Christer explained that raw energy was converted into electricity by the use of the transformers found in this room. After this, Helena and Christer graciously allowed us to ask them a couple of questions regarding Big Glenn and offshore wind production in Sweden. (Please See Video II below)
Video Summary Part II:
Q1: Rachel begins by asking Goteborg Energi “how progressive is offshore wind in Sweden?”
A1: Helena replies that offshore wind is not very favorable in Sweden and remarks that onshore wind platforms are more financially lucrative. However, she does mention that there is some push for offshore wind in Sweden.
Q2: Robert then asks if Helena could explain “what are the obstacles for offshore wind development?”
A2: Helena replied that the two biggest obstacles for offshore wind development in Sweden are, the eyesore that many people feel that offshore wind turbines create and the financial sense behind offshore wind platforms.
Q3: Greg then asks Goteborg Energi to “please explain the development process behind Big Glenn?”
A3: Helena explains that it was a collaborative effort done in order to advance Goteborg Energi’s idea of a sustainable Swedish society. She mentions that to create this new sustainable future there needs to be teamwork and collaboration.
Q4: Finally, Deepak asked “what were the specific challenges in the creation of Big Glenn?”
A4: Christer explained that the challenges to Big Glenn were not unique. The project was just harder because of its scale. He also mentioned that it was an easier project then would be an offshore project because the land was already designated for wind turbine usage.
Overall, the site visit was extremely exciting and enlightening for Team Hexicon and the rest of the Sweden CAP. Goteborg Energi were wonderful hosts and are truly leading Sweden towards a sustainable future. Team Hexicon learned that the U.S. market differs from the Swedish market for both onshore and offshore wind, however many of the challenges are the same. Team Hexicon is excited to relay what they have learned back to Hexicon for future progress on their project.
– Team Hexicon