A breath of fresh air for the Elisenhof wind farm: RWE is modernising its wind farm in western Germany and replacing nine old ones with a total of 6.75 megawatts (MW) with two more powerful wind turbines. The construction of the foundations for this so-called repowering project with a total output of 11.4 MW has already been completed. Precision and good communication are required to erect the two towers: on the ground, the individual concrete elements are assembled to form a 2.8-metre-high ring weighing up to 17 tonnes, which is then placed on top of each other by a large crane at a lofty height. As soon as the wind conditions allow, the 72.4-metre-long rotor blades will be installed. These were delivered last week and are expected to rotate soon.
Katja Wünschel, CEO RWE Renewables Europe & Australia: “Repowering is crucial for the success of the energy transition. The advantages are obvious: we increase electricity production, often by more than 200 percent – and with fewer turbines. And we use existing sites where we can build on the acceptance of the population. Another piece of good news: we voluntarily pay the RWE climate bonus to the surrounding communities. Bad Wünnenberg, Marsberg and Lichtenau can expect a total income of around 40,000 euros per year after the commissioning of our wind farm.”
Christian Carl, Mayor of the town of Bad Wünnenberg: “The town of Bad Wünnenberg is one of the pioneers in wind energy production in North Rhine-Westphalia. The repowering of existing turbines is a good option for us to contribute an even greater share to the energy turnaround and to do so without requiring additional land. RWE involved us in the project from the very beginning. I would like to thank them for their transparency and efficient communication channels.”
Wind turbines from Elisenhof get a second life in Spain
Long before the old wind farm with its nine turbines was decommissioned, RWE had already planned its professional dismantling and subsequent reuse.
The main components of the old turbines – nine sets of rotor blades, nacelles, hubs and control cabinets – were transported to Spain and overhauled and refurbished in the company’s own workshop. They now serve as a spare parts store for identical turbines operated by RWE in Spain. Thanks to these fully functional large components from Germany, RWE can extend the service life of its Spanish wind farms by up to 15 years.
In Elisenhof, the RWE team plans to connect the two new wind turbines to the grid this winter. Electricity production will then more than double thanks to the more powerful wind turbines. Once commissioned, the wind farm will generate enough green electricity to meet the demand of a calculated 5,500 households per year.
RWE operates around 90 onshore wind farms in Germany. The company is intensively pushing the expansion of renewable energies in its home market and will invest 15 billion euros gross in its green portfolio by 2030.