E.ON completes giant 458 MW wind farm in USA

The Panther Creek wind power complex is a three-phase project that consists of 305 wind turbines and has an installed capacity of 457.5 megawatts (MW), making it one of the ten largest wind farms in the United States.

Phases I and II of the wind farm became operational in the first quarter 2009, with the completion of the third and final phase, Panther Creek can now generate enough wind power to supply 135,000 Texan homes.

E.ON has 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in North America and continues to expand its renewables presence throughout the United States including building the world’s largest wind farm at Roscoe, Texas (780 MW), the construction of Stony Creek (53 MW) wind farm in Pennsylvania. Together with the completion of Panther Creek makes E.ON a leading player in this important wind energy market.

E.ON is one of the fastest growing renewables companies in the world, and is investing € 8billion in renewable generation and climate protection activities worldwide from 2007 to 2011.

E.ON currently has over 2.4 GW installed renewables capacity made up of wind energy, biomass, biogas and solar PV. By 2010 E.ON plans to have around 4 GW of installed capacity.

Germany goes offshore: EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall have constructed the first wind turbine for alpha ventus

Germany has its first offshore wind turbine: the consortium of EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall, DOTI (Deutsche Offshore- Testfeld und Infrastruktur GmbH), has successfully completed construction of the first of a total of 12 wind turbines for the alpha ventus offshore wind farm in the North Sea. A team of 50 specialists are on location at the open sea construction site.

The 5-megawatt turbine is situated 45 kilometres north of the island of Borkum. All 12 turbines are scheduled to be in operation by the end of this year, making alpha ventus the first offshore wind farm in German waters. 250 millions euros have been invested in this pioneering project. The power produced annually by alpha ventus will meet the energy needs of 50,000 households.

Construction of the wind turbines began in mid-April of this year after a first attempt had to be aborted in August 2008 due to bad weather conditions. Since April, work has proceeded at such a pace that construction of the first wind turbine is fully on schedule.

"This is a first for offshore wind energy utilisation in Germany" says Wilfried Hube (EWE), overall project leader of alpha ventus. "For the first time, wind turbines of this size are being constructed this far offshore in waters up to 30 meters deep. EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall are accomplishing a truly pioneering feat in the offshore wind industry and I am certain that alpha ventus will be a success story."

The project is managed by a 40-person team of employees from the three companies involved. The joint company DOTI was founded in June 2006; construction work for the building and installation of the wind turbines has been underway since mid-2007. "What the three-company team has achieved since then is more than impressive" says Ralf Lamsbach of E.ON, who also serves as a managing director of DOTI. "The entire team is working in concert, beyond all boundaries of the individual companies, and shows the absolute will and motivation needed to lead the project to success. The teamwork is clearly the keystone to alpha ventus."

In the decision to build alpha ventus, Germany’s first offshore wind farm, the three partners are breaking new ground. Although there have been cases of individual companies involved in other European wind projects, the general conditions for alpha ventus have so far been unique. "This is also reflected in the capital expenditure. The 190 millions euros that we had originally planned was increased to 250 millions euros" says Vattenfall’s Oliver Funk, who also acts as a managing director of DOTI. "In this respect, one can already say that we have learned the hard way, but this money has been invested well. In future projects, each individual company involved will profit from the valuable experience gained from alpha ventus."

The next step is the phased launching of the first wind turbine. Also involved is connecting the turbine to the offshore transformer station, which will follow in the coming weeks. EWE will later be responsible for supervision and overall operational management of the newly constructed wind farm. "Here as well we are gathering important experience concerning the future availability and maintenance of the turbines" says Dr. Claus Burkhardt (EWE), who, as a managing director of DOTI, is responsible for the wind farm. "This knowledge will also provide us with further information on the profitability of offshore wind farms."

The ongoing activities at sea can also be followed on the internet. A webcam positioned on the research platform FINO1 is focussed directly on the construction site. A link to the webcam can be found at on this alpha-ventus site.

Already in September 2008, DOTI set the stage with its successful construction of the offshore transformer station – a necessary precondition in order to transmit the generated energy ashore. An underwater cable, already installed last year by Transpower GmbH (formerly E.ON Netz), connects the transformer station with the German power grid.

DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar give green light to build world’s largest offshore wind farm

DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar have announced that they will invest €2.2bn in building the first 630MW phase of the London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

Once complete, the scheme will be the the world’s largest, and the first 1GW, offshore wind farm. The project will supply enough power for around 750,000 homes – or a quarter of Greater London homes – and displace the emission of 1.9m tonnes of CO2 every year.

Today’s announcement comes after the UK Government’s recent proposal to increase its support for offshore wind power. The partners are satisfied that the project is now financially viable and are now keen to push ahead with construction and to produce the first renewable power in 2012.

Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, said: “Following the 2 ROC announcement, and our subsequent decision to build the Walney projects, I’m thrilled that we today also have the final investment decision on the London Array project. The decision to build the London Array offshore wind farm is a very significant cornerstone in DONG Energy’s strategy to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. DONG Energy has built approximately half of all offshore wind farms in operation in the world today. Entering into the world’s largest offshore wind farm project further strengthens DONG Energy’s leading position in this field.”

E.ON CEO Dr. Wulf Bernotat said: “I’m delighted that work can now get underway on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The start of London Array will mark a key milestone in our roadmap as we continue with our ambitious strategy to take renewables to an industrial level. With this pioneering scheme, we see a significant increase in scale for offshore wind and also for E.ON as we aim to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer.

“Today’s announcement is proof that, if all interested parties work together, renewable power can be taken to its next level and so make a real difference to the fight against climate change.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: "The leadership of Abu Dhabi recognizes the importance of global collaboration and engagement to deploy renewable energy on a large scale. The London Array represents Masdar’s strategic approach to renewable energy, whereby real partnerships are formed between government and the private sector. This project is a great achievement for the UK government, E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar, which exemplifies our commitment to build cooperation to take renewable energy further down the path to widespread global adoption.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind farms, creating jobs and prosperity for the economy. That’s why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future.

"E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar are to be congratulated for their work on the London Array."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This is another green light for green energy. It’s a vote of confidence in the support the Government has put into backing renewable energy.

“The UK is already the world’s leading offshore wind power and this multi-billion pound project will help keep us there, cut our carbon emissions and contribute to secure energy supplies.”

Onshore work is now due to start in the summer, with offshore work due to start in early 2011.

The scheme will be built around 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 90 square mile site and will be built in two phases. The consortium hopes the first phase of 630MW will be completed and generating in 2012. The first phase will consist of 175 turbines. The second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.