First RWE’ Offshore Wind Installation Vessel Launched (Germany)

At the beginning of March, the first of two offshore installation vessels owned by RWE was officially launched after only seven months of construction. The works are thus already a month ahead of the original time schedule. The final large-scale components, the main crane and the jack-up legs, will be installed over the next few weeks.

First tests, the so-called sea trials, are scheduled for July and August.On completion in autumn, the installation vessel will be the first of its kind worldwide than can transport up to four offshore wind turbines of the multi-megawatt class at the same time and erect them in water depths of more than 40 metres.

RWE Innogy had already placed the order for construction of two identical offshore installation ships with the Korean shipyard at the end of last year. The contract value for each of these socalled “Jack-up Platforms” is around EUR 100 million. Completion of the first platform is planned for autumn of 2011. From then on, the installation ship will be operated from its home port of Bremerhaven in the construction of the “Nordsee Ost” wind farm and begin placing the first foundations in the German Bight. The installation ship will set sail with two jacket foundations every week. Later it will take over the transport and installation of a total of 48 wind turbines of the six-megawatt class. Full completion of the “Nordsee Ost” wind farm is planned for 2013. From then on, the wind power plant with installed power of 295 megawatts will supply the equivalent of 295,000 homes in Germany with electricity every year.

Besides the “Nordsee Ost” wind farm, RWE Innogy is developing the offshore wind farm “Innogy Nordsee 1” in German territorial waters. At around 960 megawatts (MW) of installed power, this will be the biggest offshore wind farm planned off the German coast. It will be built in an area of 150 square kilometres some 40 kilometres to the north of the North Sea island of Juist.

Off the north coast of Wales, RWE Innogy is already operating the offshore wind farms North Hoyle (60 MW) and Rhyl Flats (90 MW). The decision was recently taken to build a third wind power plant off the coat of Wales, Gwynt y Môr (576 MW). The second, identical, installation ship will be used to build that farm. In addition, the company presently has a 50 percent stake in the construction of the 504 MW wind farm Greater Gabbard off the southeast coast of England. Alone or with partners, RWE Innogy is presently developing further major projects in the UK, such as Triton Knoll (1,200 MW), Atlantic Array (1,500 MW), Galloper (500 MW) and Dogger Bank (around 9,000 MW). In Belgium, the company is also involved in the Thornton Bank wind farm, which in its first stage (30 MW) is already in commercial operation, and is also developing the offshore wind project Tromp Binnen (300 MW) in the Netherlands.


Source: rwe, March 17, 2011