RWE Will Transform Port to Support Denmark’s Large Offshore Wind Farm
German wind farm developer RWE Renewables plans to establish its operations and maintenance center for Denmark’s largest wind farm at the Port of Thorsminde, a small port located on the west coast of Denmark. According to port officials, the project will transform the small fishing and recreation port into a hub to support and service the emerging renewable energy industry.
City officials had been promoting their port as the ideal location to support the new 1GW Thorn Wind Farm due to be commissioned in 2027. They highlighted that the easy access port is just 30 minutes travel time to the site of the wind farm providing the shortest sea and fastest air access to Thor which will be approximately 14 miles offshore. In their materials, they highlighted the availability of 100,000 square meters of space in the port area and nearly 2,700 feet of dock space. They also offered areas that could be used for storage of materials, to build housing for the shore staff, and for a heliport.
The development of the offshore wind industry is proving to be a boom for many smaller ports around the world. Thorsminde officials point to the economic benefits for the small town saying they expect the operations and maintenance center will create 50 to 60 jobs.
Under the agreement between RWE and the port, they will open the first support operations for Thor at the port in the spring of 2023. This includes technicians, engineers, nautical personnel as well as crew for the service vessels. In addition, they anticipate that the port area will support parts of the construction process which will bring in subcontractors and create between 200 and 400 temporary jobs. The plan calls for the crews during construction and operation to travel to the wind farm from Thorsminde.
While the port is too small to support all the construction operations, some components will be stored and transferred to the site from Thorsminde while larger components it is anticipated will be moved through neighboring ports.
RWE received the concession for the new wind farm in a hotly contested bidding contest run by the Danish government. They signed the concession in January 2022. RWE plans to begin the first survey work for the wind farm from Thorsminde starting in 2023, followed by the onshore cabling and shoreside and offshore sub-stations in 2024. Foundations will start in 2025 for the approximately 70 wind turbines with installation and commissioning in 2026.
It is expected that the new service station will be fully operational starting in 2026 onwards. RWE plans to support the Thor wind farm for at least 30 years from this port.