The Parkwind development consortium has completed installation of 23 MHI Vestas V164-9.5MW turbines at the 219MW Northwester 2 offshore wind farm off Belgium – the first project to use the Japanese-Danish OEM's 9.5MW machines in commercial operation.

Adverse weather conditions and the Covid-19 outbreak had threatened the project's construction timeline, which had started in December 2019 in a joint operation by MHI Vestas and Jan De Nul Group, with a second installation vessel, the Scylla, brought in last month to operate in parallel with Jan De Nul’s Vole au Vent.

“Upon securing a second installation vessel to make up for the time lost in the first months of the year, the Covid-19 crisis broke out threatening to undo all our efforts,” said Parkwind project director Peter Caluwaerts.

MHI Vestas chief operations officer Flemming Ougaard added: “We are pleased to have completed installation at Northwester 2, particularly during this challenging time related to Covid-19. The V164-9.5 MW turbines we have utilised at this project are built on proven technology, and will reliably support this project for decades.”

Northwester 2 was installed on an expedited schedule, due to a highly collaborative approach being taken, supply chain readiness, and the industrialisation of offshore wind in Belgium, the consortium said.

Despite its tiny coastline of 67km, Belgium has one of the world’s highest share of offshore wind in its power mix. In the last winter (November 2019 to March 2020), wind at sea covered a record 9% of the country’s electricity demand, according to the Belgian Offshore Platform.