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Patrick Graham The Renewable Energy Trade Mission to Europe
Patrick Graham, PE

Patrick Graham joined Maine Governor John Baldacci and other Maine organizations on a renewable energy trade mission to Spain and Germany. A daily log follows:

Sunday, September 20
We arrived in Madrid, Spain, and traveled by van to the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Madrid. We arrived midday and had a little time Sunday afternoon to wander the streets of Madrid before gathering as a delegation for dinner and a briefing by the local staff of the US Commercial Service and the US Embassy. The Commercial Service staff prepared us well with a good description of the Spanish wind energy market, which is the third largest in the world and includes the fourth largest energy company in the world, Iberdrola. Iberdrola’s Renewables Division is the world’s largest wind power company by installed generation capacity.

Monday, September 21
Our Monday was filled with meetings with five different Spanish companies and organizations ranging from project developers and energy companies to the Spanish renewable energy association APPA. Our team, led by Reed & Reed and including Sargent Corporation, Sprague Energy, Maine Port Authority and Sewall, had very productive meetings with Iberdrola Renovables, Gamesa and Acciona, which all have developed projects in the the US and are interested in pursuing additional development opportunities. Our contacts in Spain have already started establishing contacts for our team with their US divisions to discuss future development opportunities in the Northeast. Monday night included the State of Maine briefing by Governor Baldacci and PUC Commissioner Cashman, which was followed by a reception sponsored by Reed & Reed. The briefing and reception included over 90 attendees and was a good source of more international contacts.

Tuesday, September 22
On Tuesday we traveled by high speed train (speeds upwards of 300 km/hr – approximately 180 mph) to Zaragoza for the International Wind Power Expo, an annual conference and exhibition of companies active in the European wind energy sector. We were informed by the expo organizers that the Maine delegation was the first group from the US to attend their conference. The Reed & Reed team met with several exhibiting companies to discuss their interest in the US market, including Ynfiniti Engineering Services and a second meeting with Acciona. While touring the exhibit floor, I met with the Technical Director of Normawind, a company that specializes in wind resource assessment, turbine layout validation and third-party project management. Normawind is working across Europe and South America, and has interest in expanding into US market.

Wednesday, September 23
Wednesday was a travel day taking us from Madrid through Paris to Bremen, Germany. The climate and landscape is very different between the two cities, with Bremen being much more similar to Maine. We travelled by bus from the airport to our hotel, the Park Hotel located on Der Bürgerpark (the peoples' park) in Bremen. We gathered as a delegation that evening for dinner with staff from the US Commercial Service in Bremen and prepared for our meetings of the next two days.

Thursday, September 24
Early Thursday morning we loaded the bus and traveled to Bremerhaven, which is a port city located on the North Sea approximately 65 km north of Bremen. We were given a tour of the Luneort area of Bremerhaven, which has been developed as a wind technology park containing a concentration of various companies involved in different aspects of onshore and offshore wind development. Our tour included the REpower Systems manufacturing facility in Luneort, where REpower assembles the nacelles for their 5MW wind turbine. These nacelles are enormous, being the size of small house and weighing over 142 tons. The Reed & Reed team had several interesting and productive meetings during the day with German companies interested in the US market, including WeserWind (fabricator and installer of offshore foundation structures), HOCHTIEF Construction (civil engineering and marine construction firm) and PowerWind (manufacturer of 0.9MW and 2.5MW wind turbines). On Thursday night there was another State of Maine briefing by Governor Baldacci and Commissioner Cashman that was followed by a well-attended reception at the Park Hotel and further discussion with our contacts.

Friday, September 25
Friday was a less hectic day and a nice winddown to the end of the Trade Mission. Our team met in the morning with wpd Offshore Service GmbH. This is the offshore division of wpd, a German renewable energy project developer, owner and operator. wpd has installed over 2,000 MW of onshore wind turbines and is now focusing on offshore wind project development. To date, they have developed five offshore projects, including three in the Baltic Sea and two in the North Sea, and are looking to the US market for future opportunities. Reflecting over the past week, there is no question in my mind that this has been a valuable trip, with solid contacts made for future opportunities and collaboration.

Contact

Patrick Graham, PE
207 827 4456
pgraham@sewall.com
 

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