RWE Innogy will hold a 60% stake in this joint venture, Stadtwerke München 30% and Siemens 10%. The total investment amounts to more than two billion Euros, including the grid connection to the coast.
The wind energy investment will be divided between the partners accordingly. Gwynt y Môr is to be built with an installed capacity of 576 megawatts in Liverpool Bay, around 18 kilometres off the North Wales coast. Work will start towards the end of 2011 to erect the first foundations for a total of 160 wind turbines.
All permits for the wind farm covering an area of 79 square kilometres have already been obtained. Siemens will supply, install and maintain the wind turbines, and provide the connection to the grid.
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne said: “This is the first, of what I hope will be many, examples of how we can make the most of our island’s huge renewable energy potential. I want to make sure we grab all the opportunities the rapidly expanding renewables industry has to offer, and that wind power can come of age under this government.”
Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, CEO of RWE Innogy, explains: “In 2008 we started making RWE greener. With an output of almost 580 MW and an annual saving in CO2 (1) production of around 1.7 million tonnes, Gwynt y Môr will contribute significantly to this. This is the fifth offshore wind farm which RWE is not only developing but also building – a balance to be proud of”. Hans Bünting, CFO of RWE Innogy, adds: “RWE Innogy is very open to partnerships for implementing projects in the area of renewables. Green Gecco, our joint venture with 26 municipal utilities is just one example. We are proud that for Gwynt y Môr we have again succeeded in finding strong partners in SWM and Siemens, with whom we have had good business relationships for many years. We are already looking forward to our continued work together”.
In its first phase of expansion, the wind farm is planned to generate electricity as early as 2013. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. From then onwards it is forecast to generate around 1,950 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to supply around 400,000 British households (2). The site is in a very favourable location: Liverpool Bay in North Wales is characterised by comparatively shallow water and very high wind speeds.
Dr. Kurt Mühlhäuser, Chairman of the SWM Board: “SWM has a very ambitious aim: by 2015 we intend to have generated sufficient green energy in our own power stations to enable us to supply all the approx. 800,000 private households in Munich. By 2025 we even intend to cover the whole demand for electricity in Munich, which would make us the first city of a million inhabitants worldwide to have achieved this ambitious target. We are committed at a local, regional and European level to our expansion plans for renewable energy, in which we are investing around nine billion Euros. The wind farm off the coast of Wales now brings us one massive step closer to achieving our expansion target. With our share, and the projects instigated and completed to date, we will be able to increase our green energy production within two years from an initial 350 million kilowatt hours per year to around 1,800 million kilowatt hours. This would supply over 700,000 households in Munich. We are therefore confident that we will achieve our interim target for 2015 substantially earlier. To be this successful, you have to have strong and reliable partners. We have found such partners in RWE Innogy, with whom we already collaborate on the solar power station Andasol 3 in southern Spain, and in Siemens.”
Siemens supplies wind turbines and is responsible for connection to the grid and maintenance of the wind farm
For this project Siemens Energy will receive the contract not only for supply, erection and maintenance of the wind turbines, but also for electrical connection of the Gwynt y Môr wind farm to the mainland. The value of the contract for Siemens is around 1.2 billion Euros. “Offshore wind power represents an enormous growth market. Siemens made an early commitment to this sector and can therefore look back on many years of experience. We are pleased that our proven wind power plants will also be used in this major project. Our co-operation with RWE in building as many as three offshore wind farms in Great Britain is a clear signal that both companies are driving forward the expansion of wind energy in the sea,” says Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of the Siemens Energy Sector and member of the Executive Board of Siemens AG.
Siemens will supply and erect 160 wind power installations each with a capacity of 3.6 megawatts for the Gwynt y Môr project. Siemens will also be responsible for connecting the wind turbines to the grid, which entails the delivery of two turnkey offshore transformer platforms. Using high-voltage sea cables, power will be transmitted to the Welsh town of St. Asaph, from where inland distribution will take place. Siemens will also be responsible for maintenance of the wind farm for five years, with the option of an extension for a further seven years.
Further construction ship being built
To build Gwynt y Môr, RWE Innogy has arranged for another offshore construction ship to be built by the Korean shipyard Daewoo. The first of these offshore construction ships, the largest in the world, was ordered by the company at the end of last year for the erection of the German offshore wind farm Nordsee Ost (North Sea East). The order value for each ship is around 100 million Euros. The new construction ship is expected at the end of 2011. The foundations and wind turbines are to be pre-assembled there and then transported out to sea.
(1) Compared with electricity generated by conventional coal-fired power stations.
(2) Equivalent homes supplied is based on an annual electricity consumption per home of 4700 kWh.