Forty-eight direct drive wind turbines have been ordered from Siemens for the Netherlands’ largest near-shore wind farm.
The Westermeerwind wind farm will be built near IJsselmeer lake, which is a man-made body of freshwater fed mostly by the Rhine river. The lake covers about 1100 square kilometers and is near the Dutch municipality of Noordoostpolder, which is the largest municipality in terms of land area.
Arranged in three rows of sixteen, the 48 Siemens SWT-3.0-108 wind turbines will generate enough electricity to power about 160,000 homes. It is expected they will be operational by early 2016. Each Siemens turbine generates 3 MW and uses a gearless design.
The turbine array will be situated at least 500 meters from a local dike and in shallow waters. Turbine installation will be made possible by the use of special floating barges. About 150 temporary jobs will be created during the installation phase and 30 permanent employees will be need for operation and maintenance for the fifteen-year service period. Siemens will service the wind farm during that period as part of the deal.
The Netherlands has a goal of generating about 14% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, so adding 144 MW of wind power will help achieve that goal.
In 2010, the Nethelands only generated about 4% of its electricity from renewables. Wind, solar, biofuel and geothermal are the most common forms of renewables there. Biofuels and onshore and offshore wind power have good potential there.
The Netherlands wants to have 6,000 MW of onshore wind power installed by 2020. Currently, the country has about 2,000 onshore wind turbines established.
The Dutch government has said that currently offshore wind is less favorable due to the costs. There are only 228 MW of offshore wind farms generating electricity. Several years ago, it was reported that the Dutch were sort of ‘falling out of love’ with windmills, but that may have been more about offshore wind farms.
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