Borkum turbine installation to begin this spring

Grid delays leave Areva components idling at Eemshaven

Installation of 40 Areva 5MW turbines will finally begin this spring at the Borkum West 2 Phase 1 site in the German North Sea. The 200MW first phase of the 400MW project has been delayed, due to transmission system operator TenneT’s failure to complete construction of the DolWin1 export cable on time.

Last year, development consortium Trianel took legal action against TenneT, seeking financial compensation for the delay. Trianel represents 33 German municipal and regional energy companies that are collaborating on the two-phase project.

Transportation of components for 40 Areva M5000-116 turbines began last September, with nacelles, hubs and towers departing Areva’s Bremerhaven facility for the Dutch port of Eemshaven. These components will remain in port, pending the beginning of turbine installation, which is now planned for this spring.

Meanwhile, Areva has announced that a prototype of a new version of its 5MW turbine – with a 135m rather than 116m rotor diameter – will be installed for onshore certification testing this year. It will boast a 130m hub height. Areva expects installation to begin this summer at a site in Bremerhaven.

Last month, Areva acknowledged that its renewables division performed strongly in 2012, in part, thanks to turbine production to supply Borkum West 2.

It remains unclear where Areva will build the M5000-135 model. Its Bremerhaven facility serves the German market. The company is also set to manufacture in France, at Le Havre, in order to supply the 500MW Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm.

Speaking with Windpower Monthly TV, Areva Wind UK director, Julian Brown, emphasised the company’s continued intention to build a UK production facility, but he added that the right combination of government policy and support would be necessary for the company to take the plunge. Watch the interview with Brown here.

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