Emden-based HeliService International has taken delivery of its first Leonardo AW169 helicopter which will be used to support Siemens’ personnel during maintenance operations on the 600MW Gemini wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands.
The aircraft is on a 5-year contract for winching maintenance personnel onto Gemini’s wind turbines and is equipped with a UTC Goodrich winch. The midsized twin-engine helicopter of the 4.8-ton class is the first of its kind, specifically designed for offshore applications. The aircraft can accommodate up to ten passengers in its cabin.
Managing Directors Oliver Freiland, Eberhard Herr, and Nils Herrmann, say: ”After an extensive investigation of all relevant helicopter-types available, we are fully confident of having chosen the perfect match for our offshore customer´s demand for high-quality and safe operation, while being economically efficient.”
Gemini features 150 4MW Siemens turbines, with 130m diameter blades.
Siemens will be using an 84m, helideck-equipped, Service Operations Vessel (SOV), the Windea la Cour, alongside helicopter operations. Built by Ulstein, it will be operated by BS Offshore. The vessel also features a walk-to-work gantry system.
The wind farm’s in-field offshore transformer station is also equipped with a helideck and refuelling facilities.
Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus installed the final turbine at the site on 23 August.
The wind farm is being built on two locations close to each other, Buitengaats and ZeeEnergie, situated some 85 kilometers from the coast of Groningen, and the full commissioning is expected in 2017.