German energy giant E.ON has started construction of the 288MW Amrumbank West offshore wind farm some 37 kilometres northwest of the island of Helgoland in the North Sea, installing the first foundation at the site.
The €1bn ($1.36bn) wind farm will consist of 80 Siemens
3.6MW turbines and is slated to enter service in the late summer of 2015.
The company last year had already initiated preparatory
work at the construction site, installing scour-protection for the foundations.
The utility has chartered the MPI Discovery, a
self-elevating turbine installation vessel, for several years to install
foundations, towers and turbines.
E.ON emphasises it is significantly reducing the costs of
building and operating offshore wind farms.
“We’re drawing on all the expertise we’ve gathered from our
offshore facilities in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia and from the
construction and operation of Alpha Ventus in Germany, which was the world’s
first deepwater wind farm,”said Eckhardt Rümmler, chief executive of E.ON Climate
E.ON wants to position itself as the cost leader in
building and operating large-scale offshore projects, he added.
“Offshore wind is on
the road to becoming a reliable and cost-effective source of electricity,”
“Amrumbank West will help take us significantly closer to
E.ON claims it is currently the world’s third-largest
operator of offshore wind farms.