With a rotor diameter of an impressive 167-metres, the turbine blades of Vattenfall’s new offshore wind turbines in the North Sea and the Baltic sea will draw a circle in the air that is 18 per cent or almost half an international-size soccer field larger than the turbine’s predecessor from the supplier.
In the eternal quest to get more and more efficient wind turbines, all parameters come into play when turbines are selected for coming wind farms. In what is one of the biggest renewable investments in Vattenfall’s history, Vattenfall has chosen an 8 MW Siemens Gamesa turbine for its three new wind farms, Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea and Vesterhav Syd and Nord in the North Sea.
A total of 113 new wind turbines will be spinning at the wind farms between 2020 and 2022, and together with the Horns Rev 3 wind farm that Vattenfall is presently erecting in the North Sea, the three farms will supply almost 1,400 MW, providing enough renewable energy to secure electricity to almost 1.5 million Danish households.
On the choice of turbine, Michael Simmelsgaard, Head of Offshore Wind and Country Manager for Vattenfall in Denmark, explains:
”The new offshore turbine from Siemens Gamesa was simply the cheapest choice in the market measured by cost per generated megawatt-hour electricity. In popular terms, you can say that we have selected the latest version of what has proved to be a good sturdy work horse. If it was a car, you would say that it is reliable, with a solid basic torque and super efficient in everyday use”.
“The new turbine has longer blades, and as rotors get bigger, the energy generation increases. The turbine simply takes more energy out of the wind, and we get more energy out of the same mechanical equipment. Actually 10-12 per cent extra in annual production compared to the same turbine with shorter rotor. Also, this turbine performs more and better at low wind speeds. A giant 20 megawatt turbine is not necessarily better, if it only rarely reaches its maximum”, Simmelsgaard continues.
In his opinion this is all god for the energy system. The turbines produce in a more balanced way and thus to a larger degree when the market needs it.
“It doesn’t mean that we have entirely solved the challenge of integrating power from wind turbines into the energy system. Using much more electricity for our heating and transport is still needed, as are interconnectors abroad. But it is a step in the right direction” he concludes.
In an interview with the Ritzau Finans news agency, Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, points out that close cooperation with Vattenfall played a part in securing the order for the wind turbine manufacturer.
“We did really well by working closely together with Vattenfall from a technological and commercial perspective in order to help Vattenfall substantiate its low bid.
Particularly within the offshore sector, we must be partners with our customers in order to find optimum solutions – project by project – as they involve more than just the manufacture of turbines: the logistics side and the foundations must also be considered”.
In total Vattenfall is investing over 20 billion Danish kroner in Denmark’s green transition between 2016-22.
“It demonstrates our position as the leading Danish developer of offshore wind and our commitment to Denmark’s green transition”, Simmelsgaard says.
According to the trade organisation Danish Energy “wind turbines will in a few years cover what corresponds to 60 per cent of Denmark’s electricity consumption, which is a sharp increase compared to the 45 per cent in the first six months of 2017. And to a considerable extent the explanation can be found in plans Vattenfall is realising offshore, near shore and onshore.”