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New 3.6 GW U.K. Offshore Wind Farm Will Use Largest Turbines

largest wind farm plans to use new 15 MW wind turbines
(file photo)

Published Nov 8, 2021 5:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

The competition continues to design the largest offshore wind farms that will meet the increasing demands for renewable energy. Developer Vattenfall and turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa announced the details of their proposed offshore wind farm to be located in the U.K. off the coast of Norfolk, England.  

The plans call for one of the largest fields using among the most powerful wind turbines currently available to the market. Consisting of two areas between 30 and 45 miles offshore, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects would have a total capacity of 3.6 GW. As part of the development plan, Vattenfall has named Siemens Gamesa the Nominated Preferred Supplier using the company’s enhanced turbine design of 14 MW units with expanded capacity.

“Vattenfall’s Norfolk projects will form one of the largest offshore wind zones in the world when they are completed, generating enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 4 million homes. We’re very pleased to be able to announce Siemens Gamesa as the Nominated Preferred Supplier for Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas,” says Catrin Jung, Head of Business Unit Offshore at Vattenfall.

Siemens Gamesa has already been installed the prototype SG 14-222 DD machine at the Danish National Test Center for Large Wind Turbines in Østerild, Denmark. Final commissioning and full operation is expected before the end of 2021 and will also serve as a prototype for the more powerful SG 14-236 DD prototype that they expect to install in 2022 and ultimately employ at the Norfolk sites.

“Developing an even larger rotor for our flagship offshore wind turbine is an example of how we are always seeking to innovate and improve,” says Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “We can increase blade length and incorporate the solution on our existing design. We are committed to leading the offshore revolution, adding value to our customer’s projects, and unlocking the potential of wind power.”

The newest Siemens Gamesa wind turbine features a 236-meter (774 feet) diameter rotor using Siemens Gamesa’s IntegralBlades, with an astounding 43,500 m2 swept area. This allows the SG 14-236 DD to provide an increase of more than 30 percent in annual energy production compared to the earlier units. Furthermore, the machine can reach a 15 MW capacity by including the company’s power boost function. 

Siemens Gamesa has previously announced plans to expand its UK operations, including its facility in Hull, which is the largest offshore wind manufacturing facility in the UK. The company recently announced an investment of approximately $250 million to double the size of the facility by over 440,000 square feet. The expansion will enable the manufacturing of next-generation offshore wind turbine blades.  

Development of the sites off Norfolk is subject to the UK Government’s auction awards scheduled for 2022 and a subsequent final investment decision by Vattenfall.