Siemens adds SylWin1 platform

Siemens has installed its fourth offshore converter platform in the German North Sea with the completion of the 864MW SylWin1 rig for transmission system operator TenneT, located 70km west of the German island of Sylt. 

The platform will convert alternating current (AC) power coming from the Dan Tysk, Butendiek and Sandbank offshore wind farms into direct current (DC) power that will be transported to land via a 205km-long subsea cable.

"We have now erected four high-tech platforms for TenneT in the North Sea. We succeeded in completing the first installation last year and erected the other three platforms in quick succession this year," says Jan Mrosik, chief executive of the Power Transmission and Smart Grid Divisions of Siemens.

"Once they have been commissioned, these grid connections will supply electricity from offshore wind power for around three million households."

Siemens earlier this month had already announced the completion of the 690MW HelWin2 converter station near the German island of Heligoland, also in the North Sea.

The SylWin1 and HelWin2 grid links will be able to channel about 1.5GW of offshore wind energy to Germany's power grid, TenneT offshore director Wilfried Breuer said.

Unlike their counterparts in the UK or other countries, most German offshore wind parks are further away from the shore and in deeper waters.

To limit transmission losses, German North Sea wind parks are built around clusters and the electricity they produce is shipped to land via high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology.

The costly technology may be necessary also in UK round 3 offshore wind projects that are slated to be built further out to sea.