Construction of the North Sea wind farm Global Tech I is complete: 100 kilometres from the German coast and occupying an area half the size of Bremerhaven the offshore wind power station now stands with 80 turbines of the 5 megawatt class (AREVA Wind M5000-116) and the farm’s own transformer station.
At present, only the cable work needs to be finalised. An underwater robot is checking that the farm’s 120 kilometres of internal cables lay correctly and at the right depth in their seabed trenches.
Construction of the wind farm was completed within its cost parameters.
Around 100 people work directly for the project company Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH, which has planned and constructed the wind farm in detail since early 2010. The Global Tech I offshore substation platform is manned by up to 38 persons around the clock, to guarantee operational commissioning of the turbines and subsequently the efficient operation of the power station. The technical design of the transformer substation and the internal cabling is configured with redundancy so that a reliable supply of electrical energy for the equivalent of 445,000 households can be guaranteed. The operational control station of the wind farm is located directly at the company headquarters in Hamburg.
Global Tech I now expects an earlier connection to BorWin beta
Transmission grid operator TenneT wants to connect Global Tech I in early September to BorWin beta, the TenneT offshore converter station. This is a great advantage, because the connection will supply the turbines with energy needed for their own consumption. Electrical connection also makes it possible to commence commissioning of the turbines. TenneT wants to commence with test operation of the grid connection and the interplay of the overall system of connection and wind farm during the fourth quarter this year. During this test phase the wind turbines will contribute small amounts of electricity to the grid. The regular grid connection is expected to be available in early 2015. Construction of the first project-financed 400 megawatt offshore wind farm originally began in autumn 2012. Since the grid connection was delayed several times, Global Tech I adjusted its original construction plans as much as possible by starting turbine installation at a later date. The turbine installation is now finished in good time prior to the start of the testing phase.
Dr. Jan Podbielski, Project Manager said:
“The key to success in an offshore wind farm’s construction is to continuously monitor and manage the project. We intervened occasionally to adjust the construction process and ensure we achieve the major milestones. Whenever one task threatened to delay the overall project, we countered by amending our logistics and installation plans. For example, last summer we decided to deploy a third vessel to accelerate turbine installation. A lot of flexibility was also demanded of our contract partners in the project. Only that way were we able to construct the wind farm within its time and cost parameters.”