Olsen speeds Global Tech 1 to 40

Installation of half of a total of 80 Areva 5MW M5000-116 turbines has been completed at the Global Tech 1 wind farm off the German North Sea coast, and the 400MW plant's operators are optimistic all machines will be installed on schedule by the summer.

Installation by the Fred Olsen vessels Brave Tern and Bold Tern has been so rapid that a record placement of eight turbines in one week was achieved.

“The processes are all running so smoothly that the loading of four towers and nacelles is done within a little more than one day,” Global Tech 1 said.

However, not all construction work at the project is going as well.

Transmission system operator TenneT will only be able to provide the BorWin2 grid link for Global Tech 1 at the end of this year.

In order to at least have the chance to feed some electricity to the German grid, TenneT is working on providing an interim connection for Global Tech 1 to another nearby grid link, BorWin1.

As BorWin1 already takes power from the 400MW Bard Offshore 1 wind park, only a limited number of turbines from Global Tech 1 will be able to feed into the grid.

On days of full operation at Bard Offshore 1, just six turbines from Global Tech 1 will be able to feed electricity to BorWin1, a Global Tech spokeswoman told Recharge.

The amount of electricity Global Tech 1 can feed into the grid will increase on days Bard Offshore 1 doesn’t operate at full capacity, for example if some turbines are switched off for maintenance, she added.

While the solution is not ideal, it allows Global Tech 1 to at least make some money from power generation, and saves the operators from having to use outside sources of electricity to keep its turbines from standing idle, such as by employing diesel generators.

Global Tech 1 is owned by a consortium led by Munich utility Stadtwerke München (SWM) and regional Hesse utility HEAG Südhessische Energie (HSE) that each hold 24.9%, while Swiss energy company Axpo International holds 24.1%.