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Clean Power siemens offshore wind turbine

Published on May 21st, 2014 | by James Ayre

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HUGE Offshore Gemini Wind-Farm Moves Closer — 150 Turbines Bought From Siemens For €1.5 Billion

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May 21st, 2014 by  

siemens offshore wind turbine

The enormous 600 MW offshore Gemini wind power project being developed off the coast Groningen just took another huge step forward, with the authorities behind the project purchasing 150 4 MW, 130-meter-rotor-diameter wind turbines from Siemens.

The deal — completed for €1.5 billion — includes construction and services, and it represents the biggest-ever energy services contract for the German conglomerate.

The project is to be located in the Dutch North Sea, about 85 kilometers north of Groningen, and is expected to produce enough power to supply 1.5 million people with electricity once completed (2.6 terawatt hours of electricity per year). Current estimates are for the project to be operational by the year 2023.

As part of the interesting, 15-year service and maintenance agreement, Siemens is introducing “a highly advanced logistics concept for offshore sites,” which includes, among other things, a dedicated always-ready helicopter; a specially designed, purpose-built service operation vessel; and the assurance that “maintenance work can be carried out at almost all times irrespective of the weather conditions or wave height.”


The press release from Siemens provides a bit more information:

The Gemini consortium has signed all construction, operations and financing contracts yesterday with a total construction budget of nearly €3 billion. With more than 20 parties involved 70% of this budget will be provided on the basis of project-financing – making Gemini the largest-ever project-financed offshore wind farm.

Northland Power Inc, a Canadian independent power producer is the main shareholder, owning 60% of the shares in Gemini. 20% are owned by Siemens Financial Services, while smaller stakes belong to Van Oord (10%) and HVC (10%), a joint venture of 48 Dutch municipalities and six water regulatory authorities.

Offshore wind power comes with many benefits (stronger winds, steadier winds, not as much NIMBY opposition). However, the industry is still very young compared to the onshore wind energy industry, and the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from offshore wind farms is still much higher.

Aside from this huge project, some other big offshore wind power announcements include movement forward on Cape Wind, which may be the first offshore wind farm in the United States; and the completion of a 1,866 MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Scotland, now the 3rd-largest in the world. Also, $141 million of investment was recently announced by the US government in order to move the offshore wind industry forward in the US.

Image Credit: Siemens

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • andereandre

    “Current estimates are for the project to be operational by the year 2023.”
    That is a bit pessimistic as the planned end date for the project is 2016 (building starts in July).

  • JamesWimberley

    “… not as much NIMBY opposition”? I’ve never heard of any such opposition in Europe to offshore, including Britain where there’s a lot of it against onshore wind. I suggest this is a purely American invention. The second phase of the London Array was refused planning permission because of genuine bird issues.

    Siemens are having to assume a big long-term co-ownership role to get this contract.

    Gemini is a big project but not record-breaking by North Sea standards. The operational London Array off Kent is 30 MW bigger, There are a number of gigawatt farms in the planning stage (link).

    • mike_dyke

      Try off the Bournemouth coast in the English channel. There’s a wind farm trying to go in there and people are objecting because “it will spoil the view”.

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