Transmission operator TenneT expects to complete the delayed connection of the 108MW Riffgat offshore wind farm to the German power grid by mid-February.
An official at utility EWE told Recharge that the commissioning of the park’s 30 wind turbines will
commence on 4 February. The utility owns 90% of Riffgat, with developer
Enova Energiesysteme holding the remaining 10%.
TenneT in September had said it had cleared 30 tonnes of
explosive munitions from World War 2 debris from a final stretch of a submarine
cable route, including grenades and boxes of ammunition that had delayed the
commissioning of the wind farm.
EWE had already completed the installation of the wind farm
15km northwest of the island of Borkum, but it wasn’t able to feed in to the
grid due to the war-debris-related delay.
The delay was mostly blamed on TenneT as the occurrence of
munitions on the route had been known. The TSO defended itself alleging that
the amount of war debris was far higher than expected, delaying work on the
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.
Germany connected 240MW of new offshore wind capacity to
its grid last year (without Riffgat), all of it in the North Sea, lifting its
total to 520MW.