E.ON has reached a new milestone in the development of renewables. In the presence of Swedish energy minister Anna-Karin Hatt it officially opened the Kårehamn offshore wind farm near the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The wind farm had already been connected to the grid a few weeks ago after only 19 months of construction. Kårehamn has a capacity of 48 megawatts and costs 120 million euros to build. 16 Vestas V112 turbines, each with a capacity of three megawatts, will produce enough electricity to power some 28,000 homes.
Kårehamn was built using the MPI Discovery, an ultra-modern installation vessel which E.ON had commissioned especially for its offshore wind farms and has exclusively chartered for the next six years. It has six jack-up legs which lift the whole 140 meter long and 40 meter wide vessel out of the water to provide a stable platform from which foundations and wind turbines can be efficiently and safely installed even in rough seas.
E.ON has already invested some four billion euros in offshore wind in recent years and has already built eight offshore wind farms in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, some in partnership with other companies. It is now building the next offshore wind farm in the German North Sea: Amrumbank West, the one billion euro project, will be connected to the grid in 2015. 80 turbines generating a total of 288 megawatts will then supply up to 300,000 households with energy and save over 740,000 tons of CO2 annually.
With years of experience in building offshore wind farms and constantly optimized techniques and procedures, E.ON manages to significantly reduce the cost of building and operating these offshore installations from one project to the next. This way E.ON helps to ensure that the cost of this reliable and high-yield energy source – offshore turbines can reach over 4,000 full-load hours – become competitive in the long term.