German project gets under way

GERMANY: Repower Systems has completed one of the first significant repowering projects in Germany, with the installation of 15 2.05MW turbines in northern Germany.

The new turbines at the Kronprinzenkoog wind farm in Dithmarschen in the state of Schleswig Holstein will have a capacity of 31MW. They will replace 29 ageing machines with a capacity of just 12MW.

The wind station has been granted a certificate of compliance with the German network ancillary services ordinance, demonstrating that it meets stringent network requirements. It is rewarded with a bonus of EUR0.005/kWh.

This comes on top of the repowering bonus of EUR0.005kWh, and both are in addition to the standard feed-in payment for onshore wind of EUR0.091/kWh, payable for electricity generated by wind stations commissioned in 2010.

The Repower Systems announcement comes just after wind developer Juwi announced that it is replacing a 1.5MW Enercon turbine at the Schneebergerhof wind station near Gerbach in Rheinland-Pfalz with a 7.5MW machine, also built by Enercon. This is the largest turbine type worldwide. The 7.5MW turbine will generate about 18 million kWh/year, more than six times the annual output of the machine it replaces.

These projects demonstrate the beginnings of a large market for repowering in Germany. Numerous small, old turbines, many of them dotted in scattergun fashion around the countryside before spatial planning was properly organised, can be replaced with fewer, larger more efficient and more sophisticated machines that are capable of contributing to transmission network stability.

There was some repowering last year, with 136MW added. The federal wind energy association BWE (Bundesverband Windenergie) foresees repowering beginning in earnest from about 2012, when around 9,300 wind turbines with around 6GW will have reached an age of at least 12 years.

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