Transmission operator TenneT has released pictures of the explosive obstacles it faced in linking Germany’s Riffgat offshore wind farm to the grid – ahead of finally connecting the project tomorrow.
Riffgat was completed on time last July for utility EWE – but
will only get its grid connection this week.
has faced criticism in Germany over delays to the connection of the 108MW
Riffgat and other offshore wind farms, but said the scale of the challenge to
remove World War 2 munitions was far greater than it had been led to believe, as a total of 30 tonnes of debris had to be cleared.
hazards such as bombs and boxes of ammunition from the route to the wind
farm 15km northwest of the island of Borkum added months to the
project and a total of €100m
($136.6m) to the costs – a higher figure than TenneT previously estimated.
Of that, €57m was for the actual bomb clearing, while another €43m are other costs caused by the
delay, such as compensation payments to the operator.
World War 2 explosives have become a familiar problem to the
fledgling German offshore wind sector.
Some 1.6 million tonnes of weapons from both world wars are
still lying on the bottom of the North and Baltic Seas, estimates Heinrich
Hirdes, a company specialising in explosive ordnance disposal services.
Allied bombers often dropped unused bombs on the island of
Helgoland or the open water when returning to UK bases, while some additional
ammunition ended up in the sea for training purposes after the war.
Below: The TenneT operation to make the Riffgat route safe. Pics: TenneT