Danish offshore plant down

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The world's largest offshore wind station, in the south Baltic Sea off the Danish coast at Nysted, is offline, perhaps for several months, following a serious transformer failure on June 9. The transformer feeds the production of the four-year-old 165.6 MW Rødsand plant of 72 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines into the Danish grid network. Located ten kilometres south of the large island of Lolland, the 140 tonne transformer is being brought ashore for repair, probably in Germany or Sweden. It was supplied by Italian company Tironi.

The reason for the failure is not yet known, but a short circuit is probably to blame. The transformer platform's owner and operator, local electric utility company SEAS-NVE, has been working on solving the problem, particularly the logistics of transporting the huge transformer ashore and getting it repaired. "The failure at Nysted is serious. At SEAS-NVE we have worked with grid connection of wind turbines in most of the world and what has happened here at Nysted is statistically very unlikely," says Steen Beck Nielsen.

Revenue losses while Rødsand is out of operation will be shouldered by the owners, electric power companies DongEnergy and E.ON. The transformer, which is insured, is still within its five year guarantee period. No decision has yet been taken about who will pay for the repair.

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