Copenhagen offshore plant -- First six of twenty

It took 12 hours to transport the first wind turbine foundation from the dry dock at Copenhagen out to the submerged sand bank at Middelgrunden in the sound between Denmark and Sweden and attach it to the seabed. "It went perfectly," reports Jens Larsen from the project's development company, Middelgrundens wind turbine co-operative. The foundation is the first of 20 and is the centre point and cable junction for a row of 2 MW Bonus wind turbines now being installed.

Because the foundations can weigh up to 1800 tonnes each, precision placement is complicated. With the help of the anchoring system of the "Eide" barge, divers and satellite navigation, the first mass of concrete and steel was placed level and in the correct spot. By the end of last month, six foundations were in place and the first turbine was planned to be installed, according to Larsen.

The work has been slightly delayed, partly because the weight of the foundations sinks the Eide deeper than expected. "We are more dependent on the tides, or if an autumn storm will hit," he says. Crews are currently working on correcting the Eide's ballast. Commissioning is still planned for the end of December.

All 40,500 co-operative investment shares needed for half the project have now been sold, Larsen says. The other half of the DKK 364 million project is owned by a local utility, Københavns Belysningsvæsen, the Copenhagen lighting entity. The plant is expected to generate 90,000 MWh a year.

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