The 48-turbine Nordsee wind farm was officially inaugurated by the G7 energy ministers in Hamburg on Monday. The facility is capable of powering some 320,000 households.
The inauguration was attended by the German Minister of Economics, Sigmar Gabriel, and his fellow ministers from the G7 states, as well as Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG, Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy, and Mel Kroon, CEO of Tennet.
With an installed capacity of 295 MW, Nordsee Ost, which costs €1bn, is one of the largest wind farms off the German coast.
Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister of Economics told the gathering, “Offshore wind energy is a strategically important element of Germany’s energy and climate policy and is key to the success of the energy transition. Thanks to its continuous input into the grid and its high electricity yields, offshore power generation makes a crucial contribution towards a diversified and reliable energy supply system.”
Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG added, “RWE will become the third largest player in the European offshore market this year. And we are growing further: In only one month’s time, we will be commissioning another wind farm, Gwynt y Môr, located off the coast of Wales.
We are developing and operating additional offshore projects alone and with partners in Germany, the UK and the Benelux region.”
Construction was carried out from the base port in Bremerhaven. The foundations, tower segments, nacelles and rotor blades were stored, pre-assembled and loaded onto the installation vessels “Victoria Mathias” and “Friedrich Ernestine” at the Eurogate Container Terminal.
The individual components of the Nordsee Ost wind farm impress through their huge dimensions: With around 160 metres from sea level to the tip of the blade, the wind turbines stand higher than Cologne Cathedral. Each nacelle has a weight of approx. 350 tonnes and the dimensions of a detached house. Each rotor blade is more than 60 metres long and weighs 23 tonnes. This equates to the weight of about six fully-grown elephants.
During construction, more than 60 kilometres of underwater cable were laid. That is about the length of the Eurotunnel which connects the UK with continental Europe. All 48 wind turbines and the substation have been linked by these so-called inter-array cables. The installation vessels covered around 137,000 nautical miles (250,000 km) during the installation of the foundations and turbines. They could have equally travelled around the world more than six times.
For the next 20 years, the Nordsee Ost wind farm will be operated and serviced by RWE’s own operating station on the island of Heligoland.
In June, RWE will inaugurate the British wind farm Gwynt y Môr which has an installed capacity of 576 MW and is situated off the Welsh coast.
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