- Gwynt y Môr begins generating electricity
- Joint venture project of RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München and Siemens making good progress
- Complete commissioning planned for 2014
Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm
Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm has officially generated and exported its first electricity, on track to become the second largest operational offshore wind farm in the world. 58 out of a total of 160 wind turbines are already installed, with the first turbine now feeding electricity into the grid. The wind farm is situated about twelve kilometres off the coast of North Wales and is currently RWE Innogy's largest offshore wind farm under construction. Gwynt y Môr represents a total investment of more than € 2 billion, shared between RWE Innogy (60%); Stadtwerke München (Munich Municipal Utilities) (30%); and Siemens (10%). Completion of the project is expected in late 2014. Following completion, the wind farm will have an installed capacity of 576 megawatts (MW), enough power to supply some 400,000 residential households with renewable electricity per year.
”This is a remarkable day. Gwynt y Môr has celebrated a number of significant achievements within the industry throughout its construction to date but this tops them all,” said Paul Coffey, COO of RWE Innogy. “We’ve gathered a lot of experience in the offshore sector in recent years which has helped us to deal with the challenges of increased water depths, unpredictable weather and increasing distances to shore. We're delighted to have reached this milestone and we are in great shape to achieve full operation in 2014.”
Dr. Florian Bieberbach, CEO of Stadtwerke München, added: “Generation of the first ever kilowatt hour of energy from offshore wind is an important milestone both for Gwynt y Môr and for ourselves. The green energy generated by offshore wind farms is an important part of the Renewable Growth Strategy of Stadtwerke München.”
The wind farm extends over an area of some 80 square kilometres. The Siemens turbines with a capacity of 3.6 MW each are erected by means of installation vessels at water depths of up to 28 meters. Each turbine rises 150 meters above the mean sea level.
Clark MacFarlane, Siemens Managing Director, UK Offshore Wind Power, explained: “Siemens plays an important role in the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm: from its role as funding partner, to supply and installation of 160 3.6 MW turbines, the design and engineering of the offshore substations and long term Operations and Maintenance services. This is a key project for us and we are delighted to have played a part in helping this major wind farm achieve first power.”
Gwynt y Môr will make an important contribution towards the UK's overall drive for power from domestic renewable sources, to offset the current reliance on imported fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil.