The Arkona offshore wind project in the German Baltic Sea has moved from the planning to the construction phase. The cornerstone for the joint project being carried out by E.ON and Statoil was laid this week in Sassnitz, on the island of Rügen.
The project’s kickoff was attended by Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian Minister President Erwin Sellering and Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as Ingo Luge, CEO of E.ON Germany, and others.
Minister President Sellering underscored the fact that: “The impressive development of the wind-power industry is above all a major collective achievement that comes of the productive and very close degree of cooperation found in our state. It is also a result of the strong sense of solidarity shared throughout the north between the five minister presidents, and which is also found in the business communities, chambers of commerce, and associations in the five northern German states.”
The 385-MW Arkona project is located 35 kilometers northeast of the island of Rügen. Compared to electricity generated conventionally, Arkona will save up to 1.2 million tons of CO₂ annually. A total of 60, 6-MW class turbines made by Siemens are slated for installation. The facilities will rest on mono-pile foundations in 23-37 meters of water.
Ingo Luge pointed out that E.ON is demonstrating once more its offshore expertise through the construction of this project, and the company will further reduce costs compared to previous projects.
“As the mainstay of future energy supply, renewables must be able to stand on their own economically going forward,” he said. “Electricity generation from offshore wind farms has already experienced a considerable learning curve and will soon be able to do just that. Through its high levels of investment, E.ON has made an important contribution toward this end.”
While the laying of the cornerstone marked the start of construction of the wind-farm operations facility at the Mukran ferry port in Sassnitz, preparations for the offshore construction site are well underway. The construction site is prepared, and the tracks for the cables connecting the turbines to the substation have been surveyed. Progress is also being made on the connection to the grid on the mainland via three submarine cables supplied by the transmission system operator 50Hertz, with two kilometers of cables currently being laid daily.
At practically the same time that the groundbreaking ceremony was taking place, EEW Special Pipe Constructions was starting production of the steel foundations in Rostock. Bladt Industries has been manufacturing the house-sized connecting elements since early August in Aalborg, Denmark. E.ON will begin installation of the large components at sea in 2017.
The Arkona wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational in 2019. With a 50% share in the project, the Norwegian Statoil energy group has been a project partner from the start. E.ON will be responsible for the construction and operation of the wind farm. Investment amounts to more than 1.2 billion euros. This will make E.ON the first company to operate its own offshore wind farms in the German North Sea and the Baltic.
“Investment in offshore wind farms provides us not only with large quantities of electricity over an operating period of up to 25 years, they also create a great number of jobs during the same period,” said Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer. “Offshore wind energy is therefore not just a mild breeze, it brings a strong tailwind that will provide our shores with a reliable supply of power, climate protection and long-term jobs.”