REpower wins 150-MW offshore wind energy contract

REpower will supply 30 5-MW turbines for installation at wind farm located in the Irish Sea.

Wind turbine manufacturer REpower Systems AG (Hamburg, Germany) and Ormonde Energy Ltd. (OEL, Stockholm, Sweden), a subsidiary of Vattenfall AB, concluded an agreement on July 15 for the supply of 30 REpower 5M offshore wind turbines, with a total rated output of 150 MW. For REpower, this is the largest offshore agreement, to date, in the U.K. The turbines are intended for the Ormonde wind farm, on which construction is to begin in early 2011, about 35 km from the town of Barrow-in-Furness, in the Irish Sea off the northwest coast of England.

In 2007, the Ormonde project received approval from the U.K. government. Water depths at the location vary between 17m and 30m. The total of 30 REpower 5M turbine nacelles and hubs are to be manufactured at REpower’s offshore manufacturing and logistics center in Bremerhaven, Germany, and are intended for delivery from the end of 2010 onward.

The components then will be shipped to the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rotor blades and tower segments also will be transported to Belfast, where pre-assembly is planned. Assembled turbines will be shipped out to sea using a jack-up platform, where they will be installed on jacket foundations. Construction will be carried out by Vattenfall and/or companies commissioned by Vattenfall AB; operation and test-phase monitoring will be done by REpower. Vattenfall AB also concluded an offshore service agreement with REpower for a total of five years’ service and maintenance at the Ormonde wind farm.

With a rated output of 5 MW and a rotor diameter of 126m, the Repower 5M is one of the largest and most powerful wind energy turbines in the world. The rotor consists of three rotor blades, each one 61.5m in length, and has a swept area equivalent to two soccer fields. The nacelle, alone, is the size of two houses. Since 2004, REpower has erected 17 turbines of this type onshore and offshore.