Issue with Helihoist Support Structure Halts Merkur OWF Generation

Power generation at the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany was recently brought to a halt after signs of stress fatigue were discovered on certain areas of the Helihoist support structures on some of the wind turbines.

Indications of fatigue on some of the Helihoist support structures were identified during a routine inspection operation. As an investigation into the root cause of the issue was initiated, generation at the 396 MW offshore wind farm was paused as a precautionary safety measure, according to The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG).

Some of the wind turbines have now been brought back online, while the project’s asset management team is working with the manufacturer to identify and put in place a solution that will allow the wind farm to resume full operation.

The Merkur wind farm, online since 2019, comprises 66 GE Haliade‐150 6 MW offshore wind turbines, for which the project has a ten-year service and maintenance agreement with GE Renewable Energy.

“The turbines are under warranty and service contract with the manufacturer. Contractual provisions include a mechanism to protect lost revenue whilst turbines are not operational, subject to a cap. It is not currently expected that the cap will be exceeded and therefore no material financial impact is expected to the Company”, TRIG said.

The company also said it would provide a further update on the project once it was available, most likely in the interim results to be published in early August 2021.

TRIG and the Dutch pension investor APG acquired the 396 MW offshore wind farm in May 2020 from a consortium comprising funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group (50%), InfraRed Capital Partners (25%), DEME Concessions (12.5%), GE Energy Financial Services (6.25%), and ADEME, acting on behalf of France “Investments for the Future” programme (6.25%).

Photo: Merkur Offshore GmbH