Foundations complete at Zuidwester

NETHERLANDS: Foundations have been completed and the first tower installed at the 90MW Zuidwester project, along the Ijsselmeer lake.

The first tower installed at RWE's Zuidwester project

The project will include 12 Enercon 7.5MW turbines installed on the Westermeer dike. It is a repowering of the Westermeerdijk wind farm, which has been operating since 1987. The original 50 wind turbines have a combined capacity of 15MW.

RWE said special foundations had to be manufactured because of the specific challenges of installing one of the largest onshore turbines available along the banks of the man-made dike.

According to RWE site manager Rick van Mensvoord, the three-metre-high foundations only go half a metre into the ground. Beneath that, 60 concrete piles were driven into the dike to secure the base. Each foundation is 26.5-metres in diameter and is made up of 180 tones of steel and 1,200 cubic metres of concrete.

The first 131-metre tower has also been installed, and will be further secured by steel cables stretching from the top of the tower to the foundation.

Zuidwester forms part of the Noordoostpolder project, due to have a combined 429MW capacity. One of the projects involved is the 144MW Westermeerind nearshore project. Construction there started in March.

You can see RWE's video on the construction of the foundations here