News Release from Windmesse.de


Wind Industry Profile of

New Series: Offshore Wind farms in Europe

Construction work is going on out on the ocean - in Germany for example. Despite ongoing discussions on remodeling the Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz (EEG) the country actually is in the process of building offshore wind farms.

The Windfair Offshore Letter keeps readers informed in taking a closer look at the development here and in other European countries.


1. Trianel Windpark Borkum

The Trianel Windpark Borkum, formerly known as Borkum West II, is being constructed some 45 km north of the German island of Borkum. The area covers 56 km² where 40 turbines are being installed since summer 2013. The second stage of construction will double the amount of turbines increasing the capacity up to 400 MW. The farm will supply up to 400.000 households with green electricity.

Winds are blowing steadyly in the North Sea, so the park will run up to 3500-4000 full utilisation hours and produce up to 750 GWh per year. Costs of the OWF add up to 1,6 billion Euro with the EU giving 40 million via the European Energy Programm for Recovery in subsidy funding.

Fiinishing of the first stage of construction is planned for this summer. Trianel Windpark Borkum is a good example for the need of stability and long-term policy: The idea for construction was brought up first in 2006. Prokon – bankrupt by now – filed for a permission to use the area for the construction of a wind farm which was granted by the Federal Maritime Agency (BSH) in 2008.

Trianel secured all rights for the farm in 2009 and began to search for investors. Today 33 municipal and regional energy supply companies are involved in the construction of the wind farm lead by Trianel. The idea is simple: “The common aim is to generate environment-friendly electricity and the chosen source is wind energy” as stated by the investors.

Important pioneer work had to be done by the involved companies. Before start of construction in 2011 measurements were required to protect sea mammals of the area.

A sound protection wall made by bubbles was chosen: “In collaboration with Hydrotechnik Lübeck GmbH, BioConsult GmbH & Co. KG in Husum and ITAB GmbH in Oldenburg, this sound protection technology will be tried and tested on a large scale during the construction of the Trianel wind farm” states the farm's homepage.

After finishing the ramming installation of the turbines started last summer. The farm will consist of Areva Multibrid 5000 – 5 MW turbines which were already tested in the German alpha ventus wind farm. Turbines will be seated upon tripods. They rise up to 148m above the waterline. Such 'mini power station' weighs more than 1000t.

To bring the electricity to shore Alstom has started to construct the BW 0 electric power transformation substation. The station will convert the delivered electricity to 155 kV and transmit it to the 'Dol Win alpha' converter platform. System operator TenneT will then transport the electricity to its points of destination: the 400,000 German households.

Though fnally a story of success appreciable obstructions had to be overcome. So the construction of the converter platform was delayed which crashed the whole time table. Trianel had to sue TenneT to get some compensation money back.

While hurricanes 'Christian 'and 'Xaver' blustered over northern Europe last autumn turbine installation work had to stop for several days. But the situation now has improved and there is cause for optimism: Two thirds – that is 25 of the first 40 turbines - have been installed. 75 % of the required cables are in place as the operators told the press last week. The farm will get connected to the grid to produce electricity this summer.

After completion the Trianel Windpark Borkum will help to reduce CO2 emissions by 1,6 million tons annually - an important contribution to Germany's climate goals.

Katrin Radtke

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