The Bremerhaven site is designed for the production of around 100 turbines per year. “In spite of extensive framework agreements, such as with RWE Innogy, for example, it's still possible to schedule additional orders into production”, emphasizes Norbert Giese, Senior Vice President of the business unit offshore of REpower Systems AG. However, with increasing demand, there may not be sufficient resources in the future. “For this reason, we have started with planning for the expansion of production capacities. We want to be prepared to double or triple production within 16 to 18 months, if our customers should demand this.
Currently, several variants are being reviewed, including an expansion of the production facilities in Bremerhaven or even the erection of a new site, such as in Great Britain, for example. In the projects planned for that location, there is great interest in our products as well.”
REpower has specialized in multi-megawatt-class turbines that can be installed in deep waters and at a great distance from the shore, in order to optimally use the wind conditions on the open sea. Already in 2004, the prototype of the REpower 5M was installed in Brunsbüttel, followed by two systems in the Scottish North Sea in 2006. Even now, these turbines of the project “Beatrice”, which are standing in waters with a depth of 44 meters, hold the record for the northernmost location and the greatest water depth.
“So far, we are also very pleased with the operation of the six REpower turbines in the Belgian wind farm Thornton Bank”, Giese reports. He continues: “Nearly all of the previous offshore projects were nearshore wind farms in comparatively shallow waters and were implemented nearer to the coast. With alpha ventus, located 70 kilometers from the German coastline, as well as the farshore wind farms installed off the coasts of Scotland and Belgium, REpower has now gained a significant edge in terms of experience.”
The company has installed a total of 26 type 5M and 6M systems in onshore and offshore locations so far.