Germany's first offshore wind power plant feeds eco-energy into German network

MAN subsidiary Renk supplies gear units for North Sea wind park

(PresseBox) ( München, )
The first wind power plant belonging to the Alpha Ventus offshore wind park has commenced operation off the coast of Germany. Since August 2, 2009, a 5-megawatt plant has been feeding electricity into the German network. At the heart of the plant is a so-called Aerogear gear unit supplied by Renk AG. Two further windmills of the same kind have already been installed and will be connected to the power grid in the next few days. By the end of August, six Areva-Multibrid M5000 plants will be supplying the German network with electricity generated from renewable resources. The entire park consisting of twelve plants will be in operation by the end of 2009. Each unit will generate an average quantity of electricity each year, enough to supply approximately 3,000 households with power for a whole year.

Renk AG, in which MAN SE has a majority holding, is supplying the gear units for these plants to Multibrid GmbH, Bremerhaven, that manufactures wind power plants. Multibrid is a member of the Areva Group. When using wind power at great distances from the coast, it is extremely important that the plants operate smoothly and remain maintenance-free for long periods. In case of an onshore prototype, Renk recently provided impressive evidence of this, recording 26,000 hours of operation. The vital difference compared with conventional plants is the integral construction of the M5000. This reduces weight and gives rise to even more reliable plants.

Successful erection of these wind power plants weighing more than 1,000 tons in water that is 30 meters deep represents a major step towards offshore wind-power generation. Both assembly of the tripod foundation and commissioning of the plants went according to plan after precise erection planning. There has been substantial investment at the Augsburg and Rheine sites to allow for serial production and full- and over-load testing of wind power gear units in the multi-megawatt class. As a result, Renk holds a leading position as a manufacturer of special-purpose gearings.
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