REpower tests for wind power expansion in Alpha Ventus

Start-up celebration for offshore test field Alpha Ventus – REpower tests scenarios for wind power capacity expansion.

Hamburg-based manufacturer expects strong growth in the offshore wind energy sector, particularly in Europe. Six REpower wind turbines in test field alpha ventus already successfully taken into operation in mid-April.

REpower Systems AG (WKN 617703), together with Deutsche Offshore-Testfeld und Infrastruktur-GmbH (DOTI) and additional project partners, will celebrate the taking into operation of the first German offshore wind farm Alpha Ventus.

Within the framework of the festivities, in which Federal Minister for the Environment Dr. Norbert Röttgen will take part, the wind turbine manufacturer will announce that due to the great demand for offshore systems, planning will begin on the expansion of production capacities. The REpower 5M and 6M wind turbines are currently being assembled in Bremerhaven.

The Bremerhaven site is designed for the production of around 100 turbines per year. “In spite of extensive framework agreements, such as with RWE Innogy, for example, it’s still possible to schedule additional orders into production”, emphasizes Norbert Giese, Senior Vice President of the business unit offshore of REpower Systems AG. However, with increasing demand, there may not be sufficient resources in the future.

“For this reason, we have started with planning for the expansion of production capacities. We want to be prepared to double or triple production within 16 to 18 months, if our customers should demand this. Currently, several variants are being reviewed, including an expansion of the production facilities in Bremerhaven or even the erection of a new site, such as in Great Britain, for example. In the projects planned for that location, there is great interest in our products as well.”

REpower has specialized in multi-megawatt-class wind turbines that can be installed in deep waters and at a great distance from the shore, in order to optimally use the wind conditions on the open sea. Already in 2004, the prototype of the REpower 5M was installed in Brunsbüttel, followed by two systems in the Scottish North Sea in 2006. Even now, these wind turbines of the project “Beatrice”, which are standing in waters with a depth of 44 meters, hold the record for the northern-most location and the greatest water depth.

“So far, we are also very pleased with the operation of the six REpower wind turbines in the Belgian wind farm Thornton Bank”, Giese reports. He continues: “Nearly all of the previous offshore projects were nearshore wind farms in comparatively shallow waters and were implemented nearer to the coast. With Alpha Ventus, located 70 kilometers from the German coastline, as well as the farshore wind farms installed off the coasts of Scotland and Belgium, REpower has now gained a significant edge in terms of experience.”

The company has installed a total of 26 type 5M and 6M wind turbines systems in onshore and offshore locations so far.