innogy Zuidwester wind farm in the Netherlands officially opened
The farm is part of one of Europe’s largest wind power projects
Twelve of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines (7.5MW each) replace 50 older models
90MW installed capacity along the shore of the IJsselmeer
Total investment of roughly €150 million
One of Europe’s largest wind farm projects officially opens today at Noordoostpolder in the Netherlands. The wind power project with a total output of 430 megawatts consists of 86 wind turbines operated by different partners. The turbines have not only been installed just off the coast in the IJsselmeer (nearshore) but also on land along the coastal dike (onshore). The combined output of these installations is sufficient to supply roughly 400,000 households a year with green electricity.
The innogy Zuidwester wind farm with 90 megawatts of installed capacity is part of this enormous wind power project. Twelve of what are currently the world’s most powerful onshore turbines are now turning on this site. Built by turbine manufacturer ENERCON, each of the turbines has an output of 7.5 megawatts. In all, innogy has invested roughly €150 million in the Zuidwester wind farm.
Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Renewables of innogy SE, says: “We built Zuidwester at a wind site that has a long tradition and that has always placed great emphasis on pioneering spirit. The first – and, for their time, most advanced – turbines already began turning here in the 1980s. Significant progress has been made since then. Thanks to enormous advances in this technology, wind turbines have developed into one of the most cost-effective means of generating electricity – something that is clearly shown by the results of the latest wind auctions. That is why we are backing the continued expansion of wind energy and, in the process, making our contribution to the success of the European energy transition.”
Technical progress par excellence: sixfold increase in output at proven site
The twelve state-of-the-art turbines of the Zuidwester wind farm replace 50 installations dating from the 1980s and 1990s. Statistically, one of the new turbines on its own can generate as much electricity as all 50 earlier models combined. The total installed capacity of the wind farm has increased sixfold from 15 to 90 megawatts; annual production has risen ten times. The new turbines have been operating at full capacity since the beginning of 2017 and feed enough climate-friendly electricity into the grid to supply approximately 80,000 households a year.
Hans-Dieter Kettwig, CEO of ENERCON GmbH, says: “The Noordoostpolder wind energy project and its Zuidwester subproject demonstrate that, with regard to restructuring of the energy system, the renewables are pushing forward into large-scale industry dimensions and effectively use limited land resources. Renewable large-scale power plants like this make a vital contribution to the success of the energy transition. We are happy to have been able to implement this showcase project together with innogy, and that we received broad local support from all parties involved, including farmers and the population.”
XXL turbine technology
Building work for the Zuidwester wind farm began in March 2014 with the construction of the substation, the laying of the electricity cables and the building of the foundations and towers. Work on the first wind turbine was completed in autumn 2015. In a first step, the nacelle was placed on top of the hybrid tower at a height of 135 metres with a mobile lattice-boom crane that is currently one of the largest of its kind. This was followed by the 220-tonne generator and the hub with the central rotor section. The final step involved the mounting of the individual rotor blades, which have a diameter of 127 metres and sweep an area of 1.25 hectares – the equivalent of over 1.5 football pitches. The commissioning of all twelve turbines was carried out in stages, and since the beginning of 2017 all the turbines have been feeding green electricity into the grid. With a total height of 200 metres, the turbines are even taller than Cologne Cathedral (157 metres).
innogy SE is Germany's leading energy company, with revenue of around €44 billion (2016), more than 40,000 employees and activities in 16 countries across Europe. With its three business segments Grid & Infrastructure, Retail and Renewables, innogy addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world. Its activities focus on its 23 million customers, and on offering them innovative and sustainable products and services which enable them to use energy more efficiently and improve their quality of life. The key markets are Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as several countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe, especially the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. In renewable power generation, the company is also active in other regions, e.g. Spain, Italy and the MENA region (Middle East, North Africa), with a total capacity of 3.7 gigawatts. As a leader of innovation in future-oriented fields like eMobility, we are represented in the international hot-spots of the technology industry such as Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, London and Berlin. We combine the extensive expertise of our energy technicians and engineers with digital technology partners, from start-ups to major corporates. With planned capital investments of around €6.5- €7.0 billion (2017-2019), we are building the power market of the future and driving forward the transformation of the energy market. innogy was formed from the restructuring of the RWE Group and started operations on 1 April 2016. Its IPO in October 2016 made innogy SE Germany's most valuable energy company. innogy is colourful, flexible and full of energy - let's innogize!
With an installed capacity of more than 900 megawatts in offshore wind and with over 1900 megawatts in onshore wind, innogy is one of the major operators in Europe. We plan, build and operate plants to generate power and extract energy from renewable sources. Our aim is to take the expansion of renewables in Europe further in the short term, both on our own and working with partners. We believe that working together in this way is the key to making the energy transition a success. Currently, we are particularly strongly represented in our home market, Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland. At the moment we are focusing on continuing to expand our activities in onshore and offshore wind power. We are also looking at entering new markets and technologies, such as large-scale photovoltaic plants.
Further information: www.innogy.com