German Wind Turbines Head to the Hills

More and more wind turbines are being assembled in non-coastal regions in Germany. Thus, with over 500 MW of new installed capacity, the German state of Brandenburg easily outstripped the coastal state of Schleswig-Holstein last year.

Hamburg, Germany – April 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The reason for this is that many coastal areas with strong wind conditions have already been occupied. Plus, new and larger turbines are rendering wind power an economically viable option in non-coastal areas. A good example of this is the 15 wind turbines which Enertrag has now ordered from Nordex for assembly in two locations in Uckermark, Brandenburg, in a project worth around EUR 22.6 million (US$24.15 million) Each S77 turbine has a nominal output of 1.5 kW. To ensure that this output is achieved in even only medium wind conditions, the turbines are fitted with a large rotor with a sweep of 77 meters mounted on towers with a height of 100 meters. This high altitude means that the turbines must be fitted with flight safety illumination. For the first time, the Nordex turbines to be assembled in Uckermark will feature the “EST 10” obstruction light, which Enertrag has developed in conjunction with rotor blade producer NOI. Unlike most hazard beacons, which are fitted to the nacelle, this obstruction light is integrated in the tips of the rotor blades and is activated whenever the blade moves across the top 120 degrees of the sweep. The advantage of this solution, which has been approved by the Ministry of Transport, is that the light intensity is roughly 160 times weaker than with conventional solutions and is thus less of a distraction to local inhabitants and animal life in the proximity of the wind farm. A further special feature of the wind farm is the condition monitoring system fitted to the turbines, allowing preemptive maintenance by recording the noise, temperature and vibration of the wear-prone components on the basis of a comparison between actual and required readings. In this way, it is possible to avoid unplanned downtimes, offering operators greater investment security. Enertrag and Nordex have previously worked on other wind farm projects, including two in France, one of the most important growth markets in Europe. Yet, the two companies also see strong potential for further expansion in wind power in non-coastal regions in Germany. “Whereas the coastal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania already derive more than 20 percent of their electricity from clean wind power, other German states are still a long way from achieving the political goal of substantially boosting the share of green energies,” explains Carsten Pedersen, COO Distribution at Nordex AG.
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