E.ON and Equinor’s offshore wind farm sends first electricity to grid

A large offshore wind farm, operated by German utility firm E.ON in partnership with Norway’s Equinor, has sent its first electricity to the German grid. After the first of 60 wind turbines now being online, further wind turbines will be launched into operation.

An equally-shared joint venture between E.ON and Equinor, the Arkona wind farm is situated in the German part of the Baltic Sea, Equinor said Monday. Investment in the project amounts to 1.2 billion euros ($1.41 billion).

When fully up and running, it will have an output of 385 megawatts (MW) and will be able to send power to around 400,000 German homes. Pal Coldevin, Equinor’s head of new energy development, said Arkona was the company’s fourth wind farm to come online in Europe since 2012.

“It is yet another important contribution to Equinor’s ambitious strategy, where the company is developing from a focused oil and gas company to a broad energy major, building on our extensive offshore experience and more than 40 years as one of the largest energy providers in Europe,” Coldevin said.

The project, which is made up of 60 turbines from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, is in the last stages of construction, with 44 turbines installed so far. The aim is to have all installed by the end of the year.

Equinor said that its offshore wind portfolio had the capacity to supply over 1 million homes in Europe with renewable energy.

Europe is a major player in the offshore wind sector. At the beginning of September, the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, located in the Irish Sea, officially opened.

The Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm has a total capacity of 659 MW and is capable of powering nearly 600,000 homes in the U.K., according to Danish energy business Orsted.

Europe’s total offshore wind capacity increased by 25 percent in 2017, according to WindEurope. Just over 3.1 gigawatts (GW) of new offshore wind was installed in Europe last year, with total capacity hitting almost 15.8 GW, the trade body states.