VSB gets green light for large German wind farm repowering

German developer VSB Group has received the final approval to carry out what it claims is one of the largest wind power repowering projects in Europe, boosting a wind farm’s capacity from 30MW to 105.6MW.

It will replace the 50 Enercon E-40/600kW turbines at the Elster wind farm in Saxony-Anhalt, eastern Germany with 16 Siemens Gamesa SG 6.6-155 turbines installed on Max Bögl’s concrete foundations and towers.

“Repowering the wind farm will generate six times the amount of renewable energy by replacing old turbines with more efficient ones,” explained Thomas Winkler, managing director of VSB Neue Energien Deutschland.

Fewer turbines also means a large part of the site can be restored, which will benefit the local ecosystem, VSB added.

The German firm has already dismantled all the old turbines, and expects to remove the old foundations by June 2023.

It plans to start installing the new turbines in early 2024 ahead of commissioning, which is scheduled for the third quarter of 2024.

Industry body WindEurope expects about 5.6GW of wind capacity to be decommissioned over the next five years as projects come to the end of their life and leases for sites expire. It expects 3.2GW of this to be repowered – leading to 5.2GW of repowered capacity. The remaining 2.4GW will be fully decommissioned and removed from the system.