REpower: First wind energy turbine erected for Thornton Bank offshore wind farm in Belgian North Sea
Monday, Aug 04, 2008
- Wind turbine is the twelfth 5M installed by the company
- REpower takes the lead in the multi-megawatt class
- Hamburg/Oostende, 29 July 2008. REpower Systems AG (WKN 617703) has successfully installed the first of six wind energy turbines for the Belgian offshore wind farm Thornton Bank. The project, at about 30 km off the coast, is the first Belgian offshore wind farm. For the first of three construction phases, the third-largest German wind turbine manufacturer is providing six REpower 5M offshore turbines with a rated power of five megawatts (MW) each, adding up to a total of 30 MW. Contract partner is the Belgian company C-Power.
The multi-megawatt turbine which has just been erected in Belgium is number twelve of the type REpower 5M installed by the Hamburg-based company. Gravity based foundations were erected and carried out to sea to form the foundation for the six wind turbines in Thornton Bank. The installation method planned for Thornton Bank is one where various components are assembled individually: After erecting the two-part tower and the nacelle, the final stage involves lifting the rotor, already completely pre-assembled on land, into place. This innovative method developed by REpower is also cost-saving. All work at sea is performed in a water depth of around 25 metres using jack-up drilling platforms.
Dr. Martin Skiba, Head of the Offshore Business Unit at REpower, was delighted at this important milestone and commented. “With the installation of the first 5M for Thornton Bank, we have completed the first dozen and are thus the market leader for huge megawatt turbines, i.e. turbines with a rated output of more than 3.6 MW. This happened at precisely the right time: In view of concrete plannings for offshore wind farms in Great Britain and the North and Baltic Sea off Germany, there is a growing market for offshore turbines such as our proven and tested 5M. We are currently engaged in intensive negotiations with further key customers for major offshore projects.”
The 5M was developed by REpower engineers. The prototype was erected in Brunsbüttel in 2004 already. Two turbines of this type series were erected in a water depth of 44 metres, 25 km off the Scottish coast, where they provide an oil platform with wind power. A further five 5M are to be found in Büttel, Schleswig-Holstein, two in Cuxhaven, another one in Bremerhaven (all Northern Germany). One 5M alone can provide electricity for 6,000 three-person households per year offshore.
The six 5M nacelles for Thornton Bank were produced in a mobile assembly facility in Büttel and shipped by the port in Brunsbüttel. In the future, the manufacturer’s offshore turbines will be mass-produced in a new production facility in Bremerhaven – the first six 5M which are to be produced there are earmarked for the first German offshore wind farm, alpha ventus.