Turbine installation of Nordsee One finishes as Europe leads in offshore wind energy


The Nordsee One, an offshore wind farm located in the German North Sea, has completed the installation of its final turbine. There are 54 specially designed turbines in total, each one measuring almost 500 feet from sea level to the tip of its blade.

It is jointly owned by Canadian-based power producer Northland Power who owns an 85% stake and German-based energy company Innogy who owns a 15% stake. Innogy had initially owned a 100% stake in the project but sold 85% to Northland Power in 2015 before construction even began.

The seven month process of installing the turbines ended last week with an announcement from Tim Kittelhake, managing director and COO of Nordsee One. The total cost of construction is estimated to be just under 1.5 billion dollars.

Nordsee One estimates that, once active, its 54 turbines will generate 4.2 billion kilowatt hours per year and supply the equivalent of 400,000 German homes with green electricity. Managing director and CFO of Nordsee One said, “Most of the turbines are already feeding green electricity into the grid.” Later adding in a statement, “We are very pleased with our progress so far. With another project milestone behind us, we remain focused on advancing the project into commercial operation.”

Europe currently leads the world in offshore wind. The U.K. has the largest offshore wind market in the world followed closely by Germany according to a report by the Global Wind Energy Council. The United States, which had its very first offshore wind farm come online off the coast of Rhode Island in 2015, ranks 11th on that list trailing behind countries like Finland, Sweden, and South Korea.

This all may change soon though thanks the a bipartisan bill introduced to the senate on August 1 of this year by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The ‘Offshore Wind Power Act’ endeavors to incentivize offshore wind power with investment tax credits.

In the meantime, Europe is likely to hold on to its top spot. Dong Energy announced earlier this month that it has won a contract to construct Hornsea Project Two off the coast of England, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once it is completed. It will have the capacity to power over 1.3 million homes in the U.K.

Nordsee One is expected to begin commercial operations by the end of 2017.

Article written by HEI contributor Kevin Abbott.

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