Trianel set for summer start-up

Trianel says it has installed 25 out of 40 Areva M5000 turbines at the 200MW first phase of its Trianel Windpark Borkum in the German North Sea, and will fully commission the offshore project this summer – one and a half years after the date originally planned.

Much of the delay came due to difficulties faced by transmission system operator TenneT TSO in providing the DolWin offshore grid link in time, a Trianel spokeswoman told Recharge. Trianel is a network of European municipal utilities, mostly from Germany, but also from the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

TenneT after Easter will start test operations on the DolWin Alpha converter station that bundles power from several wind parks and converts it into direct current electricity for transport to land, Trianel says. The grid link is slated to be fully operational a few months later.

DolWin Alpha will also take energy from Dong's Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore park, which was planned to have a capacity of 277MW, but due to technological advances may be boosted to 312MW.

In the future, the converter station is slated to also take power from the 400MW MEG Offshore 1 project that so far has been taken forward by the now-insolvent developer Windreich.

Part of the delay of the first phase of Trianel Windpark Borkum was also caused by delays in the delivery of the 40 tripod foundations assembled by Bremerhaven-based WeserWind, and more recently by hurricane-force storms Christian and Xaver last year.

“With wave heights of in part more than 15 metres and wind speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, working on high sea isn’t possible any longer,” says Klaus Horstick, managing director at Trianel Windkraftwerke Borkum.

Total investment for both phases of Trianel Windpark Borkum is around €1.6bn ($2.21bn). The wind farm was formerly called Borkum West 2. Areva’s 5MW turbines are installed at water depths of between 25 and 35 metres at the construction site.

The first phase of the offshore wind project was originally slated to be commissioned in late 2012 or early 2013.

Horstick says that expected better weather conditions will help installations carried out by the MPI Adventure vessel in coming months.