Construction Begins at Germany’s Mega Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea

He Dreiht
Courtesy EnBW

Published May 22, 2024 12:35 PM by The Maritime Executive


Construction has begun at one of Germany’s largest offshore wind farms, the 960 MW He Dreiht site. The project is being developed in the North Sea by the German energy utility giant EnBW and its financial backers, without state subsidies.

Heerema Marine Contractor’s semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV) Thialf has started installing the first foundations in the seabed. Each of the monopiles is 70 meters long, 9.2 meters in diameter and weighs around 1,350 metric tons. The foundation installation work is expected to continue into the summer.

The project will use the new generation of Vestas V236- 15 turbines, each with an output of 15 MW, and it will be their first commercial installation.

The wind farm is scheduled to come online in 2025. The Dutch-German grid operator TenneT will connect the wind farm using an offshore converter station and two high-voltage DC export cables. The cables will be laid over a distance of 75 miles underwater and 68 miles on land.

Although being developed without state funding, the He Dreiht project is focusing on signing long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with large-scale industrial customers. So far EnBW has signed several PPAs with companies including Bosch, which is purchasing 50 MW, the operating company of Frankfurt Airport (Fraport) ordered 85 MW, and Evonik is purchasing 150 MW.

“After seven years of intensive planning, we are delighted that we are now able to start construction work. The expansion of offshore wind energy is an important part of our ongoing strategy to considerably increase our installed renewable capacity from 5.7 GW to 11.5 GW by 2030,” said EnBW board member Peter Heydecker.

In addition, EnBW CEO Georg Stamatelopoulos said the company is investing over $43 billion in the energy transition by 2030, with Germany getting the lion’s share. Around $14 billion will be utilized in constructing wind farms and solar parks.