First terawatt-hour offshore power

alpha ventus surpassed in February the mark of one terawatt hour of generated power. Germany’s first offshore wind farm, with 12 wind turbines, has generated the equivalent of one billion kilowatt hours of climate-friendly power for the German transmission grid. This figure is equivalent to the annual consumption of 285,000 households. The operator consortium of EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall looks back over three positive years of regular operations.

alpha ventus has been feeding power into the grid since August 2009. Regular operations commenced in April 2010. During 2011-2013 alpha ventus achieved a total of 12,675 full load hours. The average yield of the offshore wind farm in 2011 through 2013 was 253.14 GWh per annum, exceeding the forecast yield by approximately 10 per cent. The capacity factor of the wind farm of 48.1 per cent during this period is an outstanding result by international standards.

The annual yield in 2013 amounted to 224.6 gigawatt hours, for the first time falling 3.3 per cent below the forecast average annual yield. The low winds in the four months of February, April, May and July 2013 and technical downtimes of individual wind turbines could not be compensated in the annual average by the particularly windy months of October and December.

“Offshore is not yet routine. The economic, safe and environment-friendly operation of an offshore wind farm in the North Sea continues to be our key goal. We are pleased that the results for 2013 are better overall than we had still been expecting in September. The two storms “Christian” and “Xaver” generated good yields during the last quarter,” said Wilfried Hube, CEO of wind farm operator DOTI. “The further expansion of offshore wind power requires the right political framework to be in place. The offshore target of 6.5 GW installed capacity by 2020 remains ambitious. The three follow-up projects to alpha ventus demonstrate that the energy utilities are doing their share.”

Follow-up projects in Germany

EWE: The Riffgat offshore wind farm near Borkum was completed in July 2013 and feeds climate-friendly power into the German grid since February 2014. 30 wind turbines have a total output of 108 megawatts.

E.ON: Offshore wind farm Amrumbank West is situated north of Heligoland in the German Bight and will comprise 80 wind turbines with a total output of 288 megawatts. Work on installing the turbine foundations commenced in January 2014.

Vattenfall: Located to the west of the island of Sylt, the DanTysk offshore wind farm will generate a total output of 288 megawatts climate-neutral power with 80 wind turbines. All foundations were put in place in 2013; the installation of the wind turbines is to start in spring 2014.