Denmark

Denmark

Learning period for Denmark

The much reported technical problems with the Vestas turbines at the 150 MW Horns Rev facility in the Danish North Sea are now demonstrably solved. Availability of the plant during 2005 was 95%, just 2% less than the 97% recorded for the Bonus turbines at the 160 MW Rødsand facility off the south Danish coast at Nysted. All the Vestas units at Horns Rev were taken ashore for retrofitting in 2004.

For Horns Rev owner Elsam, not all its troubles are over, however, although the latest bother is of a political rather than technical nature. After an expensive compensation settlement with local fishing fleets to keep them away from the site, Elsam discovered they are still fishing between the turbines -- a hazard for the underground cables. Action by Elsam has so far been restricted to a warning to the fishermen.

The Danish government is extending both the Horns Rev and Rødsand facilities by 200 MW each. A concession for the Horns Rev extension has been granted to Energi E2 and it is in the process of wind turbine selection. The final round of bidding for the Nysted concession is underway (Windpower Monthly, February 2006).

Meantime experience is being gathered on servicing offshore wind plant. Elsam carries out its twice-yearly service in blocks of six weeks using 28 wind technicians as and when the weather allows. Transport is by boat or helicopter, backed by a hotel ship anchored at the site.

From Rødsand, Energi E2 reports that most technology failures are due to manufacturing or assembly errors and the selection or replacement of a supplier. To garner more experience of wind turbines before they are installed offshore, Energi E2 is planning a test site of up to nine wind turbines at Kappel near Nysted. The project, which is welcomed by wind turbine manufacturers, is for turbines with rated capacities of 2.3 MW, 3 MW and 3.6 MW. The test turbines, with hub heights up to 200 metres, will replace 24, 400 kW turbines near Kappel with hub heights of 80 metres.

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