CEZ AS (CEZ), the biggest Czech utility, connected the final General Electric Co.wind turbine at Europe’s largest wind farm to the grid, enabling the venture in eastern Romania to generate enough power for 1 million homes a year.
CEZ Group’s 600-megawatt Fantanele/Cogealac wind park, Europe’s largest onshore wind project, now is in full operation and is producing enough cleaner energy to power more than one million Romanian households each year. The project utilizes 240 GE 2.5-megawatt wind turbines, including the 1,000th 2.5-megawatt(MW) class machine installed by GE worldwide.
The final wind turbine for Fantanele/Cogealac was connected to the regional grid in late November. The new wind park is located in Dobrogea, Constanta County, Romania, which is one of the most promising wind power regions in the country. The project owner, CEZ Romania, is part of CEZ Group, the largest utility in Central Europe.
“We chose GE because of its proven technology and the extensive experience of its project teams. The 2.5-megawatt technology offers the efficiency, availability and energy performance that will safeguard our success,” said Ondrej Šafár, CEZ project manager. “Thanks to the Fantanele/Cogealac wind farm, CEZ is making a major contribution to increasing Romania’s renewable energy generation. Before this project, Romania’s installed wind capacity was only 14 megawatts.”
The individual wind turbine components for the Fantanele/Cogealac wind farm were produced all over the world. The turbine nacelles were supplied from GE’s facility in Salzbergen, Germany. The rotor blades and towers came from Germany, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland and China. The size of the components—one rotor blade measures nearly 50 meters in length—and the number of units required comprehensive planning. Twelve modes of transportation were needed to move all of the components for each wind turbine from the port of Constanta on the Black Sea to the project construction site. At peak times, 25 cranes were in action at once at one of the largest building sites in Europe.
“Detailed planning, clear processes and a lot of dedication ensured that the project was completed on time,” said Stephan Ritter, GE’s general manager for renewable energy in Europe. “We were able to feed the experience we gained during the construction phase straight back into the project. We are very proud of the outstanding achievement of our project team.”
Ritter added, “The use of advanced wind turbine technology enables high efficiency and reliability in a wide range of weather conditions. This significantly increases the wind park production capacity.”
An evolutionary product, the 2.5 offers high efficiency and reliability for a broad range of wind conditions. These machines feature larger rotors, higher towers and greater hub heights than previous models, resulting in greater power output.
Earlier this year, GE announced its fleet of 2.5 MW series wind turbines had surpassed 2 gigawatts of installed capacity worldwide, enough cleaner electricity to power approximately 1.4 million European households. Today, these machines are operating in 19 countries worldwide, including 14 countries in Europe, and have achieved more than 7 million hours of commercial operation.