The 385 megawatt (MW) Arkona offshore wind farm was officially opened Tuesday after Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy completed the installation of 60 of its 6 MW offshore wind turbines in record time, taking only five months to complete installation and commissioning, which was well ahead of schedule.
The Arkona offshore wind farm was officially opened by owners E.ON and Equinor on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian petroleum and energy minister Kjell-Børge Freiberg in attendance. The 385 MW project is the currently largest offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea and will generate enough electricity for the equivalent of around 400,000 average households.
Consisting of 60 of Siemens Gamesa’s SWT-6.0-154 direct drive offshore wind turbines, the project is located in the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the Baltic Sea, 35 kilometers northeast of the island of Rügen in waters between 23 and 37 meters deep.
“I would like to praise E.ON for its excellent work on the development and currently the operation of Arkona,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions. “The project has been delivered on schedule and below budget. Based on our 40 years of experience from offshore operations Equinor has been actively involved in the project development. With Arkona we are well positioned for further growth in offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.”
The installation and commissioning of the turbines is what is most impressive about the Arkona offshore wind farm, with all work at sea carried out in less than five months. Siemens Gamesa followed its 24/ONE concept which sees a turbine installed within 24 hours in an effort to reduce installation times “through efficient project management and to consequently increase customer benefit.” Thus, it took just over three months to install all the offshore turbines, after which it took only two days for all turbines to be fully operational.
With construction beginning in June, first electricity was generated and fed into the German electricity grid in late September.
“We are delighted to have delivered the first Baltic Sea installation of the SGRE 6 MW direct drive offshore wind turbines safely, reliably, and rapidly,” said Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Offshore Business Unit. “My thanks and appreciation go to the colleagues who have successfully implemented this project from all sides: E.ON, Equinor, suppliers, and Siemens Gamesa. Excellent cooperation and a strong desire to perform at world-class levels have characterized the project since the beginning. The Arkona wind power plant exemplifies the great contribution that offshore wind power is making in Germany already today. Thanks to rapid technical developments, offshore wind power has matured into a cost-effective energy source within just a few years, providing clean energy for generations to come.”
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