Clean Power

Published on August 18th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


UK Installs First 6 MW Wind Turbine In North Sea

August 18th, 2014 by  

The United Kingdom celebrated the installation of its first 6 MW wind turbine over the weekend, having erected the first of 35 Siemens 6 MW turbines at the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in the North Sea.

6 MW wind turbine

Image Credit: DONG Energy

The Westermost Rough offshore wind farm is a joint venture between DONG Energy and its partners Marubeni Corporation and the UK Green Investment Bank. The project marks the first time that the Siemens 6 MW turbine will be used at a commercial level. Upon completion, the farm will have a total capacity of 210 MW and generate enough electricity to power approximately 210,000 UK homes.

This also marks the first installations of the longed-for Round 3 — proposed by The Crown Estate in 2008, it initially comprised nine offshore zones of varying sizes available for offshore wind development. With the installation of the Siemens 6 MW wind turbine, the opportunity to cut costs arises with bigger and more efficient turbines.

“This is a major landmark in the construction phase of this project and its achievement is a great credit to the DONG Energy team and our supply chain partners,” said Duncan Clark, Westermost Rough Programme Director at DONG Energy.

“This is the first time we have installed the Siemens 6MW turbine with a 154m diameter rotor on a commercial scale following smaller demonstration projects, and it represents a step change in our ability to provide more energy output from fewer turbines.”

“Only a few days after our D6 wind turbine obtained its final certification it is in place for commercial operation,” Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore of Siemens Wind Power added. “We are very proud to achieve this milestone on the way to enhancing efficiency and lowering the cost of offshore wind energy with our innovative direct drive technology.”

The news comes just days after DONG Energy’s partners announced that the “landmark refinancing” of their involvement. The Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced earlier this year that they would be providing equity investments worth £461 million into these offshore wind projects using Siemens “next generation” wind turbines. The GIB and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation have now apparently signed an agreement with a consortium of lenders who are set to provide £370 million of limited recourse senior debt.

“This is an important transaction in the development of offshore wind in the UK,” said Ed Northam, head of investment banking at GIB. “In refinancing part of our 50% equity stake in the Westermost Rough project – jointly held with Marubeni – we have brought in a number of new, long-term financiers to the sector.

“Increasing the number of long-term debt providers in offshore wind is critical in both ensuring there is sufficient capital to finance new construction projects and lowering the cost of capital for the sector.”

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  • JamesWimberley

    A gallery of monster offshore turbines (link). A pity that they are installed so far out to sea that most of us will never see one in the flesh. They would tower over Big Ben’s 96m. The industry is rolling out 10MW designs for the next step.

    • Will E

      it will become a tourist attraction.
      to embark on a sight seeing tour for windturbine parks
      including climb one with a restaurant on top.
      this will attract many tourists from all over the world.

  • jimbo

    It’s great to see such large wind turbines rolling out. One million UK households would only need about 150 wind turbines of this calibur; also, Usain Bolt would need 15 odd seconds to cover the diameter!

  • Guest

    Siemens 6MW is a remarkable wind turbine, but are the numbers correct?

    210000 UK households with average consumption of 4600kWh/a is 966GWh/a.

    210MW wind farm needs about 52% capacity factor to produce ~966GWh/a.

    52% is almost too good to be true.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I can’t guarantee the 52% number but, remember, this is offshore where CF numbers run higher.

      Some of the newer Danish offshore wind farms are hitting 50% CF.

      Newer onshore wind farms in the US are reporting CFs above 40%.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Just checked the 2012 US wind farm numbers. 46 wind farms reported CFs higher than 40%. 13 higher than 45%. 2 higher than 50%.

        I suspect 52% is doable….

    • Offgridman

      Maybe not with the new control software techniques and the fairly regular wind source out in the North Sea

    • globi

      The Horns Rev 2 Wind farm has a capacity factor of 52%.

      One would expect the Westermost Rough wind farm to perform better since:
      1. It has wind turbines with more rotor area per MW (= probably reaches max power sooner)
      2. The rotor area average is placed higher above sea level (= higher average wind speed)
      3. The UK has typically better wind resources than Denmark.

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