As the responsible company, Nordex has drawn up a dismantling concept for the Jüchen A 44n wind farm with support of RWE, the city of Jüchen and the utility company NEW. The concept comprises the complete dismantling of the existing wind turbines and safe demolition of the concrete towers. A new wind farm is then to be built on the same site and connected to the grid in 2023. The dismantling is required due to structural defects identified in the towers. For safety reasons, the entire wind farm has therefore been out of operation for months. As a result, manufacturer Nordex was unable to hand over the project to the three partners RWE, the city of Jüchen and the energy supplier NEW.
The Jüchen A 44n wind farm consists of six wind turbines. One of the turbines (turbine number 4) was shut down in August last year when damage to the tower was detected. Shortly after, the remaining five turbines were shut down as a precautionary measure and comprehensive safety measures put in place. The safety precautions included an extensive cordoning off of the site and ongoing monitoring of the wind farm. The manufacturer and partners have now agreed to replace the towers. Karsten Brüggemann, Managing Director of Nordex Germany GmbH, explains: “Safety is our top priority. We have already gained initial experience in dismantling identical turbines in other German states.”
RWE is supporting the work on securing the wind turbines, which is being carried out by the manufacturer, and is providing personnel, machinery and materials as required. The aim of the project partners is to erect new turbines as quickly as possible after dismantling the old ones. Grid connection of the new wind farm with six wind turbines and a total capacity of 27 megawatts is scheduled for 2023. Once fully operational, the wind farm will be capable of generating enough green electricity to meet the average needs of more than 26,000 households.
Starting this month, the first step will be to stabilise five of the six concrete towers from the outside using two steel collars, and then to safely dismantle the blades, hub, nacelle and steel turbine towers. In a second step, the remaining concrete towers will be brought to the ground in a controlled, targeted demolition – a common method worldwide for the rapid and economical dismantling of concrete structures. A separate dismantling plan is being drawn up for the sixth turbine (turbine number 4), due to the specific damage pattern. The entire dismantling will take place in the coming months. RWE has provided further information including a time schedule at www.rwe.com/windpark-juechen.
The dismantling has no consequences for other wind turbines operated by RWE: RWE does not operate any further turbines with this specific tower.