RWE starts construction works on Zuidwester wind farm

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RWE starts construction works on Zuidwester wind farm

RWE Innogy has announced that construction work on the Zuidwester wind farm is in full swing on the dyke along the shore of the IJsselmeer in Netherlands. 

According to the firm the first of twelve wind turbines has been successfully put into operation. The wind farm has a planned total capacity of 90 megawatts (MW).

Fifty turbines installed during the late 1980s and early 1990s are being replaced by large new turbines. Each of the new Zuidwester turbines can generate as much electricity as all 50 turbines of the old wind farm combined. The new Enercon onshore wind turbines are the largest in the world with a hub height of 135 metres and a capacity of 7.5 megawatts (MW) each.

The total project investment is estimated at €150 million (US$161 million).

RWE’s Zuidwester wind farm is part of the Dutch Noordoostpolder wind power project, in which several partners are involved. The Noordoostpolder wind power site will have an installed capacity of 429 MW, which makes it one of the largest wind farms in Europe. A total of 86 wind turbines will be installed, both in the IJsselmeer and onshore along the dyke.

The total project investment is estimated at €1 billion (US$1.1 billion).

Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy, explains:

“Between 1987 and 1991, the wind farm at this excellent site was not only our largest wind project, but also the largest of its kind in Europe with 50 turbines and a total capacity of 15 megawatts. We are now building the Zuidwester wind farm with twelve turbines and a total capacity of 90 megawatts, which again makes it one of RWE’s largest wind farms. Technological progress is taking on concrete form here. It is enabling us to make better use of scarce land resources and simultaneously increase our contribution towards meeting the Dutch targets for developing renewable energies and the European energy transition.”

Hans-Dieter Kettwig, CEO of Enercon, says:

“The Noordoostpolder wind energy project, of which the Zuidwester wind farm is part, is one of the most ambitious onshore wind energy schemes in Europe. It shows that renewables are moving into production on a large industrial scale in the transformation of the energy system. Together with other decentralised onshore projects, large renewable power plants of this kind are making a decisive contribution to the success of the energy transition. It is particularly gratifying for us that all local stakeholders – RWE, farmers and the general public – have helped to realise this project.”

Rick van Mensvoort, RWE Construction Manager, adds:

“We started building work here in March 2014. That was followed by the construction of the substation, the laying of the electricity cables and the installation of foundations and towers. Three weeks ago, we were able to install the first wind turbine. In a first step, the 156-tonne nacelle was placed on top of the concrete tower at a height of 135 metres with a lattice-boom crane. This was followed by the 220-tonne generator and the hub with the central rotor section, which weighs 350 tonnes – the equivalent of roughly 250 medium-sized cars. The final step involved the mounting of the individual rotor blades, which have a diameter of 127 metres and sweep an area of 1.25 hectares – the equivalent of over 1.5 football pitches. Yesterday, we have connected the first turbine to the grid to generate green electricity. We are completely on schedule and expect to commission the complete wind farm in 2017.”

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