Siemens nails 600MW Gemini deal

Siemens has confirmed a €1.5bn ($2.05bn) order to provide the Gemini wind farm off the Dutch coast with 150 of its 4MW offshore turbines, after the 600MW project reached financial close.

Siemens also signed a 15-year service and maintenance agreement for Gemini – its largest service order ever.

“With the project we are entering one of the most important emerging offshore wind markets in Europe,” says Markus Tacke, CEO of the Wind Power Division of Siemens Energy.

Siemens expects installation of foundations and the SWT-4.0-130 turbines to start in the second quarter of next year, and Gemini to be fully commissioned in the first quarter of 2017.

The Gemini consortium yesterday signed all construction, operations and financing contracts for the wind project 85km off the Northern Dutch city of Groningen, with a total construction budget of nearly €3bn.

With more than 20 parties involved 70% of this budget will be provided on the basis of project financing – making Gemini the largest ever project-financed offshore wind farm, Siemens said.

The Siemens Financial Services unit contributed to securing the Siemens bid by participating in the Gemini consortium via an equity investment.

Northland Power, a Canadian independent power producer is the main shareholder, owning 60% of the shares in Gemini.

Another 20% is owned by Siemens Financial Services, while smaller stakes belong to Van Oord (10%) and HVC (10%), a joint venture of 48 Dutch municipalities and six water regulatory authorities.

“With project financing and all building and supply contracts now in place, our focus has already shifted to the construction phase,” said Gemini chief executive Matthias Haag.

By supplying one and a half million of Dutch citizens with clean energy, Gemini will play an important role in helping the government of the Netherlands achieve the targets mandated by the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive, Siemens added.

That targets the Netherlands to reach a 14% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Today the Dutch market has an installed wind power capacity of 2.7GW, of which 2.45GW is onshore. The country’s offshore target is 4.45 GW to be operational in 2023.