The world’s first 6-MW offshore wind turbine went up in the North Sea this week. Wind company REpower and C- Power NV, a Belgian offshore development company, installed the wind turbine, the first of 48 for the Thornton Bank II wind farm, which is being constructed approximately 28 kilometers off the Belgian coast.
The wind turbine is actually rated at 6.15 MW and is the first turbine of phase 2 of this offshore wind project — REpower has an interesting interactive image on its site where you can explore its 11 main features. “In the early hours of 21 March the rotor star was connected to the nacelle by a team of C-Power and REpower engineers and the crew of Neptune, the installation vessel of GeoSea (DEME group) carrying the components for the turbine,” REpower writes.
Here are more details for you detail-lovers:
The offshore turbine REpower 6M has the dimension of two family homes and the rotor star has a diameter of 126 metres, with a swept area greater than two football pitches.
The installation of the first 30 turbines for phase 2 of the wind farm is planned for 2012, and a further 18 are designated for installation during a third extension stage by mid-2013.
Phase 1 of the Thornton Bank II wind farm was constructed in 2008 and 2009. It includes 5-MW wind turbines. More details: “The offshore wind farm, located around 28 kilometres off the Belgian coast in waters between twelve and 27 meters deep, was officially put into operation at the end of June 2009. Since it started operation, Thornton Bank generated almost 350,000 megawatt hours of electricity.”
Belgium intends to get 13% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020.