The Parkwind consortium has started delivering power from the 219MW Northwester 2 array off Belgium’s North Sea coast into the country’s grid.

The wind farm features the first commercial deployment of MHI Vestas' V164-9.5MW machine, with 23 turbines installed in late 2019. The project is expected to be fully operational by the summer.

The 9.5MW version of the V164 was unveiled in 2017 by the Danish-Japanese manufacturer in response to demand among European project owners for more powerful machines.

Northwester 2, built about 50km off the coast of Ostend, will supply roughly 250,000 homes via Belgium Elia’s modular offshore grid (MOG).

“This first important milestone as realised by Northwester 2 also marks the first renewable energy production transported through MOG after it went live at the end of last year,” said Elia’s chief executive Chris Peeters.

A recent study revealed that Belgium has one of the world's largest shares of offshore wind power.

Northwester is one of three Belgian offshore projects that combined will have more than 700MW in capacity, for which the government in Brussels in 2017 renegotiated and sharply reduced support to €79 per megawatt hour ($90.70/MWh), from €129/MWh previously promised.

Parkwind, which has already built the Belwind, Nobelwind and Northwind projects in Belgian waters, holds a 70% share in Northwester 2 with the remaining 30% held by Japan’s Sumitomo.