RWE opens Heligoland offshore base

RWE Innogy today inaugurated its new service and operating station for the 295MW Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm on the tiny North Sea island of Heligoland.

The station will serve as offshore operating base for 20 years for the offshore wind farm that is currently being built at some 30 kilometres north of the island.

"The reform of the German Renewable Energy Act has created clarity on future policies and a reliable planning base for the offshore wind industry," Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary under-secretary of state at Germany's energy ministry, said at the inauguration.

"It is now important that we achieve our development targets quickly and take the industry's learning curve forward. As construction and maintenance of new plants can now be optimised, costs can be reduced in the medium term."

Open sea wind farms usually require about four to five days of maintenance per year, RWE says, making Heligoland the perfect location as a service base due to its proximity to Nordsee Ost.

The wind farm is slated to be completed in the spring of 2015 to supply 300,000 homes with electricity each year. Currently, 48 of Senvion's 6MW offshroe machines are being erected at the site.