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Wind Industry Profile of

Germany: Global Tech I, one of Germany’s largest wind farms, goes officially operational

400 megawatts rated output, supplying the power required by 445,000 households / 80 turbines in water 40 metres deep and 140 kilometres distant from the German coast

Today Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Carsten Sieling, Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Bremen, and Olaf Lies, Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of Lower Saxony, together with shareholders and management of the project company Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH, issued the joint start signal that put the North Sea wind farm Global Tech I officially in operation. With 400 megawatts, it is the largest German offshore wind farm to go fully on stream this year. To date there is only one other wind farm in Germany with an equal capacity, while at 140 kilometres from its base for logistics in Emden, Global Tech I is the most distant wind farm from the German coast.

Global Tech I operates 80 turbines of the 5-megawatt class and so provides an installed maximum output of 400 megawatts. The North Sea power station thus supplies the equivalent of around 445,000 average households with electricity generated from wind, thereby representing an important contribution to an environmentally sound supply of energy and the attainment of climate targets. The annual savings of CO2 amount to 1.2 million tonnes compared to traditional coal-fired power stations.

By itself the construction of the wind farm was an outstanding technical achievement: The turbines were mounted on steel tripod-foundation structures in a depth of 40 metres of water under stringent marine environmental protection restrictions. The entire logistics at all stages of construction, from the installation of the foundations to the mounting of the rotor stars, required optimal and flexible adaptation for factors such as the weather, availability of vessels, crews, materials and the grid connection. Since the grid connection was delayed several times, Global Tech I modified its construction plans to compensate as much as possible and despite the delays realized the project within its anticipated cost and adjusted time frames.

To ensure the wind farm operates smoothly, the offshore substation within the wind farm is manned by 37 persons who work closely together with the operations control centre in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The operations control centre is responsible for marine surveillance and all parameters of the wind farm. Moreover, these include control of the wind farm’s internal cable network and the massive transformers that convert the generated electricity from 33 to 155 kilovolts. And all this is performed by the click of a mouse from the heart of Hamburg. The operations centre is also responsible for all communications involved in direct marketing of the generated power and with the grid operator. Due to the great distance of the wind farm from the coast, the offshore substation serves as the logistical base for service and maintenance teams. The substation can be compared to a self-sufficient small town, with all the necessary amenities such as fresh and waste water treatment, a hotel operation, a hospital with paramedics and telemedicine devices as well its own “fire brigade” and a helicopter landing pad complete with refuelling station. The following shareholders have supported the project: Three energy utilities: Stadtwerke München GmbH, ENTEGA AG (formerly HEAG Südhessische Energie AG, Darmstadt) and Swiss company Axpo. Additionally, private investors included the Meltl family, Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH as well as original initiators of the wind farm the two project development companies Norderland Projekt GmbH and Windreich GmbH. Further shareholders include the companies FC Wind 1 GmbH, FC Wind 2 GmbH, GTU I GmbH and GTU II GmbH.

Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: “Global Tech I is an example of excellent cooperation. The project was planned, financed and realized by a team that spans state and national borders. From Bremen they service the turbines, which is also where they were manufactured, the grid connection makes its landfall in Lower Saxony and those responsible for operation and management of the wind farm are based here in Hamburg.”

Dr. Carsten Sieling, Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen: “Global Tech I is an excellent example of why the epicentre of the offshore wind industry lies off the coast of northern Germany. Along with Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Bremen the port locations in the German Bight have contributed in differing degrees to the success of the Global Tech I project. That is good for all of the Federal Republic, because offshore wind power occupies centre stage in the climate policies of the German government. It is an important precondition to achieve the CO2 reduction goals that have been set and it is absolutely imperative for the successful phasing out of nuclear energy. Today’s opening is therefore a fantastic signal and at the same time a call for the Federal government to lay down a pragmatic and needs-based legislative framework for the construction of future wind farms.”

Olaf Lies, Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of Lower Saxony: “Global Tech I is an impressive technical and logistical accomplishment, which thrills me as an electrical engineer. Power is produced here, far out at sea, for more than 440,000 households. Furthermore, it pleases me greatly that Stadtwerke München is intensifying its activities strongly in this field. That shows me that even in the deep south of Germany the importance of offshore wind energy is also recognized.”

Detlef Schmeer, Technical Managing Director of Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH: “The 80 wind turbines of Global Tech I actually have been feeding power into the grid as of 27th of July this year. We are very proud to be able to inaugurate today official operation of the North Sea wind farm. We want to guarantee a reliable supply of electricity for the needs of 445,000 households with our 80 turbines and substation in the midst of the wind farm, which is manned around the clock.”

Dr. Florian Bieberbach, Chair of the Executive Board of Stadtwerke München GmbH: “With Global Tech I we are inaugurating this year’s third offshore wind farm we are shareholders in. And construction at sea has just begun on the fourth. This shows clearly the high priority SWM attaches to this still young technology. Without offshore wind we would be unable to realize our ambitious expansion plans in the renewable energy sector. We want to generate as much “green electricity” by 2025 as the whole the city of Munich currently uses. This means Munich will become the first city of over a million inhabitants to have achieved this goal. And Global Tech I brings us a further giant step forward. I thank everyone who has worked on the construction of this tremendous eco power plant. For us and our partners in the consortium I hope for a stiff breeze at all times, so we all profit well from the fruits of our labour.”

Dr. Marie-Luise Wolff-Hertwig, Chair of the Management Board ENTEGA AG: “For us as a regional utility this inauguration is of enormous significance: Global Tech I is a key element in the generating strategy for ENTEGA and the investment proves that regional utilities are the actual backbone of the turnaround in energy policy.”

Andy Heiz, Head of Department Production & Networks of the Axpo Group: “Global Tech 1 fits superbly into the Axpo strategy. This opening is a milestone and an important expansion of our portfolio in the wind energy sector. With our subsidiary in Germany, we can market our share of the power produced on the North Sea directly.”

Private investors, the Meltl family, Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH “As private investors, our commitment to renewable energy as a social responsibility and duty is at the forefront of our thinking. We are pleased to have been able to find such reliable and capable partners as the energy utilities of Munich and Darmstadt in addition to the Swiss firm Axpo, with which the realization of this enormous project was achieved. Congratulations and many thanks to the entire Global Tech I team.”

Günter Eisenhauer, Managing Director of Norderland Projekt GmbH: “In 2003, 12 years ago, together with my former colleague Hans-Jürgen Kothe we set down the original concept of this wind farm in Kiel, for which we applied for permission in 2006 and the BSH granted its initial approval in 2010. When I now consider the complex challenges, completely and successfully mastered, of installing what was then innovative technology 100 kilometres at sea, I am thankful that in 2008 the enlarged syndicate had the courage and conviction to bring the Global Tech I project to the successful conclusion it now has. In particular, the three major shareholders deserve special thanks for this.”

Willi Balz, Managing Director of GTU II GmbH and founder of Windreich: “When I founded Wetfeet GmbH in 2008, from which Global Tech I subsequently sprang, I was inspired by the idea to build future wind farms only where there are constant winds, namely offshore. As an experienced regatta sailor, glider pilot and wind miller I am convinced that thanks to the streamlined wind conditions there, it is feasible for distant offshore wind farms to achieve 4,500 hours of maximum load. Fortunately, I was able to convince energy utilities and other investors seven years ago with our vision of Global Tech I, enabling us to garner the initial investment required. With German engineering skills and robust technology we have mastered all the challenges. Today we can look back with satisfaction on what we have jointly achieved and look forward to a future of production records. Another important step towards efficient implementation of the energy policy turnaround.“

Global Tech One, SWM

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