Thornton Bank: First six-megawatt turbine for offshore wind farm installed

REpower installed first of 48 REpower 6M for Belgian offshore project development company C-Power / Most powerful offshore wind turbine constructed to date

Hamburg/Oostende, (PresseBox) - REpower Systems SE and Belgian offshore project development company C-Power NV yesterday installed the world's most powerful offshore turbine, 28 kilometres off the port of Oostende. The turbine with a rated power of 6.15 megawatts (MW) is the first of 48 REpower 6M to be constructed in the phases 2 and 3 of the Belgian offshore wind farm Thornton Bank. In the early hours of 21 March the rotor star was connected to the nacelle by a team of C-Power and REpower engineers and the crew of Neptune, the installation vessel of GeoSea (DEME group) carrying the components for the turbine.

Now the vessel Neptune is returning to the harbour of Oostende where the components for the next turbine will be loaded. The erection teams stay at the accommodation jack-up barge Vagant, which moves from one turbine to the next, for the whole installation process.

The offshore turbine REpower 6M has the dimension of two family homes and the rotor star has a diameter of 126 metres, with a swept area greater than two football pitches.

The installation of the first 30 turbines for phase 2 of the wind farm is planned for 2012, and a further 18 are designated for installation during a third extension stage by mid-2013.

Jaak Rutten, CEO of C-Power thanked the team for this outstanding engineering achievement and said: "C-Power is pleased that it could install the first REpower 6M as planned with the entire project being on track. GeoSea and REpower are doing an excellent job in constructing this second phase of our offshore wind farm. 2012 is our most important construction season - installing foundations, turbines, offshore transformer station and a second export cable - and it started off well."

Frank Zimmermann, Head of the Offshore Business Unit of REpower Systems SE, added: "With the first REpower 6M installed offshore, we've delivered the first turbine of that size to global "water-world". We are very happy, indeed, having achieved such landmark, yet there are 47 more to go and as always, safety counts first. "

In 2008, REpower already delivered and installed six turbines of the REpower 5M type for the first construction phase of Thornton Bank. The offshore wind farm, located around 28 kilometres off the Belgian coast in waters between twelve and 27 meters deep, was officially put into operation at the end of June 2009. Since it started operation, Thornton Bank generated almost 350,000 megawatt hours of electricity.

For phases 2 and 3 of the wind farm, REpower's scope of delivery covers the production and delivery of the nacelles, towers, blades and hubs as well as preinstallation in the port of Oostende. Furthermore, REpower is responsible for the installation, the commissioning and the test run of the turbines, and will deliver its full service product OFS for all three stages, which includes responsibility for operations and maintenance, as well as the transportation at sea.

About C-Power:
C-Power the Belgian company set up to develop the offshore wind farm in the concession area on the Thornton Bank in the North Sea and is owned by a group of 4 reputable Belgian shareholders: SRIW Environnement, Socofe, Z-Kracht/Nuhma, DEME, and two European strategic partners RWE Innogy EDFEN in a partnership with the Marguerite Fund.

The completed wind farm will have a total capacity of 325 MW, enough to provide power to 600.000 inhabitants and to avoid 450.000 tons of carbon emissions per annum to the environment. C-Power will thus contribute 10% of the renewable energy capacity needed for Belgium to meet its EU objective to reach 13% renewable energy by 2020.

About the REpower 6M:
The REpower 6M to date is the world's most powerful wind turbine installed at high seas. The turbine is series produced in Bremerhaven, from where the components can directly be shipped to their place of destination. Three prototypes of the REpower 6M were installed 2009 onshore at the wind farm Ellhöft, close to the German-Danish boarder. With a rated power of 6,150 kw a single turbine can power more than 6,000 households when installed offshore.

Senvion SE

REpower Systems SE, a wholly owned subsidiary within Suzlon group, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of onshore and offshore wind turbines. The international mechanical engineering company develops, produces and markets wind turbines for almost any location - with rated outputs of 1.8 MW to 6.15 MW and rotor diameters of 82 metres to 126 metres. Furthermore, the company offers its customers project specific solutions in the areas turnkey, service and maintenance, transport and installation, as well as foundation planning and construction. The profitable and reliable systems are designed at the REpower TechCenter in Osterrönfeld and manufactured at its plants in Husum (North Friesland), Trampe (Brandenburg) and Bremerhaven as well as Portugal and China.

With more than 2,700 employees worldwide the company headquartered in Hamburg can make use of the experience gained from the manufacture and installation of over 3,600 wind turbines around the world. REpower is represented by distribution partners, subsidiaries and participations in European markets such as France, Belgium, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Poland and Spain as well as on a global level in the USA, China, Australia and Canada.

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