Troubled Wind Farm Undergoes Dismantling

Denmark-based Vestas, one the world’s major wind turbine companies, announced that every last one of their wind turbines installed offshore at their flagship Horns Reef project will be transported to nearby Ringkobing and Lem and dismantled for tests and repairs due to ongoing problems.

Ringkobing, Denmark – July 13, 2004 [] The Horns Reef offshore wind farm is located roughly 15 kilometers off the shore near Esbjerg, on the Danish west coast, and with a total capacity of 160 MW, is one of the world’s largest offshore projects. Vestas has experienced a series of difficulties with the operation of the offshore project due to problems with the transformers and a number of the generators. After considering their options, project partners Vestas, ABB and the Danish electric utility Elsam decided to take a costly, but necessary action. All 81 of the V80 2-MW turbines will be dismantled, including all of the units installed offshore and the test nacelle that is located on land near the city of Esbjerg. While it doesn’t necessarily appear there are equal problems with every single wind turbine, the company decided it would be best to remove all the units. Undertaking necessary repairs on-site was not an option. Because of the rough weather conditions in the North Sea, the company decided to transport the nacelles and the blades onshore to accomplish part of the work. The wind farm, constructed in the period between April to September 2002, served as the company’s flagship demonstration offshore wind farm. This puts more weight on the importance of achieving a successful wind farm operation at Horns Reef. “Experience is expensive, but also precious,” said Svend Sigaard, president and CEO of Vestas. “Being the first large offshore project, Horns Reef must be a success. The project is important for Vestas’ continued leadership in the offshore segment. It is my belief that Vestas will win the market in this segment. Even though it has been at a high premium, it puts Vestas and our suppliers into a unique position,” Through the Horns Reef project, Vestas has gained a lot of experience in offshore work and has been chosen as the supplier to three other offshore projects in the UK with a total capacity of more than 200 MW. One of these projects, North Hoyle, is already installed and has proven itself so far with good results, according to the company. In 2003 Vestas entered into agreements of delivery of a total capacity of roughly 150 MW to two other offshore projects in the UK, Scroby Sands approximately three kilometers off Great Yamouth in Norfolk on the UK’s east cost and Kentish Flats off Kent. The Horns Reef repair project is expected to be completed during the autumn of 2004.
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