German-Spanish wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa has started up production of its 11MW offshore model at its factory in Cuxhaven, Germany, with a lead-off order for developer Vattenfall’s giant Hollandse Kust Zuid project in the Dutch North Sea.

The first 140 SG11.0-200DD nacelles, direct-drive systems with permanent magnet generators that will be powered by a rotor made up 97-metre-long blades, will be transported by ship for construction of the 1.5GW development, expected to be feeding power to the grid by 2023.

“Rolling out the first serially-manufactured SG11.0-20DD is a terrific start to the year. I am very proud that we managed to stay on schedule and carried out a smooth product changeover at the plant despite the adversities of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anton Bak, Siemens Gamesa’s plant manager in Cuxhaven.

Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa’s offshore business unit, stated: “Production in Cuxhaven is going very well. The plant and the SG11.0-200DD will play a central role in the global growth of offshore wind energy.”

The 11MW model, which evolved out of ‘digital twin’ modelling of forerunning SGRE turbine concepts, will employ intelligent control systems to tailor everything from rotor-yaw and blade-pitch to “using the whole turbine structure more efficiently” to run the turbine “closer to its limits”, SGRE head of offshore technology Morten Pilgaard Rasmussen told Recharge, in advance of the new model’s launch, in 2019.

While the 11MW has been progressing toward serial production start-up, Siemens Gamesa has commissioned a prototype of a 14MW version at Denmark’s national wind power testing centre in Osterild. The long-awaited super-size machine, digitally uptuned to 15MW since, is on track to be market-ready by 2024.

The Cuxhaven factory was opened in 2017 and through 2018-2021 built hundreds of 7MW and 8MW offshore turbines.