Construction starts on Germany’s €1.3bn Meerwind offshore wind farm project

To comprise 80 Siemens 3.6MW turbines, the 288MW offshore project will be located about 23km northwest of the island Helgoland in the German North sea. Owned by WindMW GmbH, a joint-venture between global investment firm Blackstone and Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH, the €1.3bn project became the first German offshore wind farm to be fully financed in August 2011 thanks to the KfW offshore wind programme.

“There is much work still to be done during the offshore installation but we are on track to begin delivering clean power to the public grid next year," said Jens Assheuer, CEO of WindMW.

The first stage of offshore construction is the preparation of the seabed, carried out by dredging and marine contractor Boskalis on behalf of Seajacks. Seajacks is then scheduled to install the 80 monopile foundations (manufactured by AMBAU at its facilities in facilities in Cuxhaven and Bremen) with the newly built jackup vessel Zaratan next month.

Following the installation of the monopiles, scour protection will be placed around the foundations. Finally, in early 2013, Siemens and Seajacks will install and commission the 80 SWT-3.6-120 offshore wind turbines. The turbines will be installed over an area of 42 square kilometers, at water depths of 22-26m..

“While all dates are subject to change due to weather, the project is on track for a full commissioning in 2013,” WindMW said. When completed Meerwind will produce enough electricity to supply 360,000 households and will help Germany eliminate approximately one million tons of carbon emissions per year.