RWE, Stadtwerke & Siemens To Build 576-MW Offshore Wind Farm

RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke Muenchen and Siemens have entered into a joint venture to build the 576 MW offshore wind farm Gwynt y Môr in the UK.

RWE Innogy will hold a 60 percent stake in this joint venture, Stadtwerke München (SWM) 30 percent and Siemens 10 percent. The total investment amounts to more than €2 billion (US $2.44 billion), including the grid connection to the coast. The investment will be divided between the partners accordingly.

Gwynt y Môr (Welsh for “wind in the sea”) is to be built in Liverpool Bay, around 18 kilometers off the North Wales coast. Work will start towards the end of 2011 to erect the first foundations for a total of 160 wind turbines. All permits for the wind farm covering an area of 79 square kilometers have already been obtained. Siemens will supply, install and maintain the wind turbines, and provide the connection to the grid.
 
In its first phase of expansion, the wind farm is planned to generate electricity as early as 2013. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. From then onwards it is forecast to generate around 1,950 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually, enough to supply around 400 000 British households. The site is in a very favorable location: Liverpool Bay in North Wales is characterized by comparatively shallow water and very high wind speeds.
 
Siemens will supply the wind turbines and is responsible for connection to the grid and maintenance of the wind farm. For this project Siemens Energy will receive the contract not only for supply, erection and maintenance of the wind turbines, but also for electrical connection of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm to the mainland.
 
The value of the contract for Siemens is around €1.2 billion. Siemens will supply and erect 160 wind power installations each with a capacity of 3.6 MW for the Gwynt y Môr project. Siemens will also be responsible for connecting the wind turbines to the grid, which entails the delivery of two turnkey offshore transformer platforms.
 
Using high-voltage sea cables, power will be transmitted to the Welsh town of St. Asaph, from where inland distribution will take place. Siemens will also be responsible for maintenance of the wind farm for five years, with the option of an extension for a further seven years.
 
To build Gwynt y Môr, RWE Innogy has arranged for another offshore construction ship to be built by the Korean shipyard Daewoo. The first of these offshore construction ships, the largest in the world, was ordered by the company at the end of last year for the erection of the German offshore wind farm Nordsee Ost (North Sea East).

The order value for each ship is around €100 million. The new construction ship is expected at the end of 2011. The foundations and wind turbines are to be pre-assembled there and then transported out to sea.

This article was reprinted with permission from Powergen Worldwide as part of the PennWell Corporation Renewable Energy World Network and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher.

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