HOCHTIEF, Windreich Present Global Tech I Project in Husum, Germany

HOCHTIEF, Windreich Present Global Tech I Project in Husum, Germany

HOCHTIEF, Windreich Present Global Tech I Project in Husum, Germany

Windreich AG, initiator of the world’s first offshore project with a punctual start to construction work so far, Global Tech I, is showing that the energy turnaround is already well into its implementation phase and offshore wind energy works with the right partners at Husum WindEnergy 2012.

Martin Rahtge, Chair of the Management Board at HOCHTIEF Civil Engineering, Marine and Offshore welcomed Key Note Speaker Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. (FH) Willi Balz, Executive Chairman of Windreich AG, at the HOCHTIEF conference on 19th September 2012 and showed great respect for his work. “When I got to know Willi Balz three years ago, I was deeply impressed by his actions and vision. He is a pioneer within the industry and has permanently shaped it. With his hands-on mentality he was the ideal partner to realise our offshore plans with Windreich.”

“The energy turnaround is only possible using offshore wind farms and we are in the process of realising this,” Balz urged journalists. “Please research thoroughly when you are reporting, particularly with the people who are actually doing it, as this will soon put a stop to the frequently incorrect negative reporting.” With these words the engineer from Swabia opened his lecture, which very clearly and demonstrably describes how sustainable and realisable offshore wind projects are.

Constantly discussed offshore industry issues were addressed and answered totally openly and directly by Willi Balz. “We do not have any grid connection problems with TenneT, our three approved projects all have unconditional network approval and can also be connected to current converters using bypass cables in order to prevent damage, any resulting liability issues and therefore higher costs for consumers right from the start,” says Willi Balz.

There are also no grid overloads caused by storms, as modern wind turbines produce power up to their maximum capacity, above this the rotor blades automatically reduce their pitch angle and thus blow any excess wind out over the North Sea.

“We do not need any electricity highways down to the south, at least not yet. Offshore power from the North Sea is already reaching the Ruhr region now, which is the region in Germany with by far the highest energy consumption. Approximately 20 conventional power plants have to be replaced here alone first. Roughly 15 major offshore wind farms have to be constructed for this and until then the industrial nation of Germany is sure to have a solution for improved networking.”

Balz does not make a secret of problems though. Projections in expert wind reports from independent, certified companies are on average 30% lower than the actual electricity quantities produced in the North Sea by Horns Rev and Alpha Ventus.

“This is hampering us with the search for investors and unnecessarily drives up the equity required and interest rates. Despite these difficulties, Windreich has managed to acquire EUR 800 million equity and building on this, financing of over EUR 1 billion for Global Tech I by involving the EIB and KFW, the largest financing in the world so far in the renewable energies sector.”

To conclude, Willi Balz emphasised the superb collaboration between the partners AREVA, Alstom, WeserWind, Ambau, Fugro, BGL, NSW and particularly HOCHTIEF: “When I saw the motivated team of the new INNOVATION construction vessel and looked into the Captain’s enthusiastic face it was finally clear to me that this was the right decision. We had found a partner in HOCHTIEF, who will demonstrate that offshore projects can be completed on schedule and safely through thorough preparation and professional realisation with the assistance of INNOVATION.”

To close Balz said: “With the punctual start to construction work at Global Tech I, it has finally been proved that the energy turnaround can become reality with the right partners.” 


Press release, September 21, 2012; Image: Windreich