Offshore wind farm to power 400,000 German homes

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Construction of the 385MW Arkona offshore wind farm off the coast of German Baltic Sea has kicked off.

The wind farm is a joint venture between E.ON and the Norwegian energy company Statoil and will cost approximately €1.2bn. It will be located about 35km from the coast near the island of Rügen.

The wind farm includes 60 of Siemens’ SWT6.0-154 turbines which are installed on grounded monopole structures. Each turbine will generate 6MW of energy and will have a rotor diameter of 154m.  

The first foundations at the site have already been laid in the seabed, marking the start of the construction of the wind farm.  The next stage of the construction involves installation of 60 monopiles, on which the transition pieces, towers and turbines will be mounted later. 

The wind farm is to become operational in 2019 and will generate enough energy to supply 400,000 German households. The majority of the power generated from the project will be delivered to the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The wind farm will also help in offsetting 1.2Mt of carbon emissions.

Innovative corrosion-protection

The steel foundations of the wind park in the German Baltic Sea have been coated with a special anti-corrosion coating so that during the 25-year operating period, the metal-dissolving corrosion process will slow significantly.

E.ON is the first company to completely assemble the monopiles with this environmentally-friendly corrosion-protection technology.

E.ON has developed the thermal spray aluminium (TSA) process for coating of the monopiles with engineers Rambøll Germany, in coordination with the competent authorities. The EEW and Krebs organisations developed the innovative technology on behalf of E.ON to implement the process industrially at their locations in Rostock.

During the coating process, a robot with two arc burners sprays a 350μm thick layer of molten aluminium onto the foundations. The surface is then sealed with resin.

The TSA process has mainly been used as corrosion protection for smaller steel components under water or for larger components above water (for example, in offshore substations). The process is being applied for the first time on an industrial scale for the foundations of the Arkona turbines.

Because the process is automated, this coating method can generate significant cost savings when compared with conventional corrosion protection.