Germany: Topping-Out Ceremony for Heligoland’s Offshore Wind Service Stations

Germany Topping-Out Ceremony for Heligoland's Offshore Wind Service Stations

The topping-out ceremony will be celebrated for two new buildings on Heligoland today.

The offshore wind farms Nordsee Ost (295 MW) of RWE Innogy and Meerwind Süd | Ost (288 MW) of WindMW GmbH, which are currently being built about 30 km north of the island, are to be operated and maintained over a period of 20 years from the new service stations being set up in the southern port of the island. To this end, two service buildings which after their completion in spring 2014 will comprise storage halls, workshops as well as office and staff amenities are being erected on a site of some 6,000 square metres also comprising external storage areas.

 “Our development of the southern port into an operating base for offshore wind farms is an active contribution to the energy transition. Heligoland is the first island in the German North and Baltic Sea to benefit from the development of offshore wind power. This new branch of industry means new jobs, more purchasing power and more varied life on the island”, emphasised Jörg Singer, mayor of the Heligoland municipality.

“Given its position and the short distance to our Meewind Süd | Ost wind farm, our company uses the island of Heligoland as service and operating base. During the installation of the 80 turbines and the substation we have already come to know Heligoland as an ideal and pleasant partner and appreciate the short distances on the island in particular”, explained Knut Schulze, architect and project engineer at WindMW.

 Peggy Kleidon, responsible project engineer at RWE Innogy, added: “Wind farms at sea require more maintenance than onshore wind turbines because waves and seawater create much greater stresses. Short distances, local partners and good, downstream service logistics are therefore an essential precondition for the economically efficient operation of such power plants. Given its exposed position some 40 km off the coast, Heligoland is cut out for being home to an operating base.”

The future service building of RWE Innogy comprises a floor space of some 1,200 square metres and is due to be complete in spring 2014. Half the floor space will be used for storage and a workshop. The other half of the two-storey building comprises changing and sanitary rooms, offices, recreation and meeting rooms as well as a control room for the Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm. Small spares and electrical parts will be stored temporarily or occasional repairs will be carried out here. RWE Innogy aims to obtain a certification of its building in gold by the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen“ (DGNB) (German Society for Sustainable Building) to take account of the resort character of Heligoland.

Germany Topping-Out Ceremony for Heligoland's Offshore Wind Service Stations (2)

Within the outport, the company WindMW has taken an area of approx. 3,800 square metres on lease on a long-term basis and has been erecting a service building with a floor space of some 1,400 square metres there since the beginning of May 2013. Apart from a large hall, the building will also accommodate workshops, storage areas, sanitary and changing facilities as well as recreation and office rooms. Completion is due in February 2014.

An offshore wind farm can typically be expected to require two to three days of maintenance per year. Unforeseen events may require more maintenance. For the planned operating base on Heligoland this means that ships with service staff will leave for the offshore wind farms and return after their work in the evening every day. Once the southern quay has been completed, these service vessels will be loaded and fuelled from there so that regular operation in the other port areas of Heligoland will not be disturbed.

The service staff for the maintenance will be accommodated on Heligoland during this period. For this purpose, RWE Innogy has had a new apartment building erected on the island and has taken it on lease completely. At some 320 square metres, the building comprises 18 apartments and a large recreation room. The company REpower has taken a second building on lease with 12 apartments for their employees. Accommodation has thus been available since the beginning of the year for some 30 offshore employees of the Nordsee Ost wind farm.

The service staff of WindMW will be put up in the atoll oceon resort. During the present installation phase of the Meerwind Süd | Ost wind farm approx. 35 people are already working on Heligoland. During the operation phase of the wind farm, the number of employees will also be on this scale.


Press release, October 8, 2013; Image: rwe