Municipal utilities complete pioneer project in the North Sea

4C Offshore | Simon Powles
By: 17/07/2015 Elmar Thyen
 Aachen/Borkum, Germany. The Trianel wind farm Borkum is on the grid and is producing electricity at full capacity. "Around a year after completion, all 40 turbines have been connected and are undergoing a test operation", Klaus Horstick, Managing Director of Trianel Windkraftwerk Borkum GmbH & Co. KG, told us. The first purely municipal offshore wind farm in Europe, with 40 wind turbines and a capacity of 200 MW is located about 45 kilometres off the coast of the North Sea island of Borkum.

Construction of the wind farm began in September 2011 with the erection of the tripod foundations in the North Sea. As Mr. Horstick explained: "At that time, we were breaking new ground, and today, we are proud to have completed this pioneer project together with our shareholders, suppliers and employees."

For a long time, the connection to the grid was a source of concern. The transmission system operator had repeatedly delayed the connection to the grid, upsetting the planned construction schedule. According to Mr. Horstick: "Following the successful commissioning of the last turbine, we are now in the test operation phase. In August, the turbines will transfer to regular operation." During the test operation, technical details are being checked and all operating phases of the AREVA Wind M5000 turbines are being tested.

With the completion of the first expansion stage of the Trianel wind farm Borkum, important preconditions for the second expansion stage have also been met. Since the level of investor interest is high, Mr. Horstick anticipates a decision in 2016 regarding the second expansion stage, with a further 200 MW.

The technical management of the Trianel wind farm Borkum will be based on the mainland. The wind farm and transformer stations will be monitored and controlled from the management office in Emden, Germany. Based on its expected 4,000 full load hours, the Trianel wind farm Borkum will generate over 800 gigawatt hours of electricity (800 million kWh) per year. This is enough electricity to supply over 200,000 households. The investors in the offshore wind farm with a total investment figure of EUR 1 billion are 33 municipal utilities and regional providers from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Trianel.