Monday, August 17, 2009

First offshore German wind farm goes live

The Alpha Ventus project in the North Sea began producing electricity Aug. 12 and could someday power 50,000 homes

Electricity generated by Germany’s first offshore wind energy park began streaming into the national network as three wind turbines located 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the North Sea island of Borkum went online.

The three wind turbines are massive. Each towers more than 100 meters (328 feet) above the waves, with blades spanning more than 116 meters. Individually, the wind turbines are capable of generating 5 megawatts of energy per year. The initial trio will be joined later this year by nine more wind turbines. When all 12 go online later this year, the installation is expected to provide enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.

The project, dubbed Alpha Ventus, is co-financed by German energy giants Vattenfall, E.on (EONGn.DE), and EWE. Construction began in 2007, and cost €250 million ($357 million)—significantly more than the €190 million originally budgeted for the project. Bad weather last summer delayed the construction of the facility by almost a year.

Though Germany is considered a world leader in land-based wind power, this is the country’s first offshore facility. The United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands all have offshore wind energy parks already.

Balance of article: Tehran Times

No comments: