DONG Energy’s next generation demonstration site at Gunfleet Sands has been officially opened today by Greg Barker MP, the Minister for Climate Change at a ceremony in Harwich.
Located next to the existing 172MW Gunfleet Sands wind farm off the coast of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, the new two Siemens 6 megawatt wind turbines mark a significant next step in DONG Energy’s efforts to reduce the cost of energy for offshore wind.
As the first two in the world to be deployed offshore, the turbines will undergo a series of tests over the next three years; particularly enabling DONG Energy to examine how the new direct drive technology and installation methods used at this project could affect the wider roll out of the 6MW machine at DONG Energy’s future projects in the UK.
Greg Barker MP, Minister for Climate Change said;
“The Coalition is driving huge new investment to deliver both affordable bills and cleaner energy for consumers. This includes an important role for offshore wind. DONG Energy’s Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm is an excellent and innovative example. It’s helping the country take another step towards a clean, secure energy future while helping to support local jobs.”
Benj Sykes, DONG Energy Wind Power’s UK Country Manager said:
“The inauguration of this demonstration project marks an important milestone for DONG Energy in the UK. We are the market leader for a reason; we are using the latest technology to push the boundaries of the industry forward and we continue to remain committed to playing a central role in ensuring the offshore wind industry in this country achieves its full potential.”
Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Technology Officer from Siemens Wind Power said:
“Gunfleet Sands III is a very important project for us to bring the 6 megawatt direct drive turbine out to the offshore environment. The two prototypes have been pre-tested here under hardest conditions and we have made tremendous progress with the experiences gained by that. Now we will test the turbines under long-term conditions of normal energy production . We appreciate DONG Energy very much for the gainful collaboration.”
The 6 megawatt turbine type has been tested onshore at the Høvsøre and Osterild test centres in Denmark. DONG Energy announced in July 2012 that it had signed a framework agreement with Siemens to deliver 300 6 megawatt turbines for exclusive use at DONG Energy’s projects in the UK. DONG Energy also signed an agreement with Siemens for up to 154 6 megawatt turbines at its German Gode Wind projects from 2015.