World’s second largest offshore wind farm opens in Dutch North Sea

The Gemini Windpark, at 600MW the world’s second largest offshore wind facility, has been officially opened following a two-year construction period.

The scheme has been sited in two neighbouring locations, 85km from the coast of the province of Groningen. This area has some of the highest and most constant wind speeds in the North Sea, with an average wind speed of 36km/h.

The scheme was developed by a consortium of four companies: Canada’s Northland Power owns 60%, Siemens Financial Services owns 20%, and 20% is held by two Dutch firms, maritime contractor Van Oord and waste processing company NV HVC.

The total construction cost of the Gemini project was around €2.8bn and subsidies will amount to €3.6bn.

Gemini is expected to generate enough clean and renewable energy to meet the needs of 1.5 million people in the Netherlands and to reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1.25 million tonnes a year.

The 68-sq-km project contains 150 Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 4MW, as well as two offshore substations. All the turbines have been operating since October last year, and generated €250m of pre-completion revenue.

Each substation is connected by to the land station in Eemshaven, a seaport in Groningen, by a 110km cable. The electricity is then converted and conveyed to the TenneT power station.

Management and maintenance headquarters will be located in Eemshaven and will create 75-100 permanent jobs.

The project was financed by 25 banks from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Images courtesy of Gemini Windpark

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