The world’s first ever offshore wind farm has finally been dismantled, with DONG Energy announcing this week that it had completed decommissioning the 4.95 megawatt Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm.
DONG Energy announced in March of this year that it would be decommissioning and dismantling the 4.95 megawatt (MW) Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm after 25 years of operation. Completed in the summer of 1991, Vindeby was made up of 11 small 450-kilowatt wind turbines, built in the waters off Vindeby near Lolland in the south-east of Denmark. Over its lifespan, Vindeby generated approximately 243 GWh of electricity, and provided enough power for around 2,200 homes — small by today’s standards, but nevertheless a pioneering development 25 years ago.
“This is the first time we’re dismantling an offshore wind farm, but luckily, we’ve been able to draw on our vast experience from constructing offshore wind farms and working offshore,” explained Leif Winther, Senior Lead Business Developer in DONG Energy. “In cooperation with the winning contractors, we developed the dismantling method and entered a long process with the authorities to obtain all necessary permits.”
All of the components from the wind turbines were taken down piece-by-piece and shipped to shore in Nyborg Harbour, where the components will be reused as much as possible as spare parts for other wind turbines. Meanwhile, the blades — worn down after 25 years of continual use — are intended to be used in an innovative noise-barrier concept, while a few blades will be used in a research project at DTU Risø.
“And the tale of the world’s first offshore wind farm off Vindeby on Lolland will be preserved for posterity with one wind turbine from Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm becoming part of the exhibition at the Danish Museum of Energy in Bjerringbro in Jutland,” added Leif Winther.