Massive offshore wind park officially opened in Netherlands
A massive offshore wind park was official opened in the Netherlands. With a generating capacity of 600 MW, Gemini is one of the largest offshore wind parks in the world capable of meeting the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers.
Gemini Offshore Windpark just celebrated its official grand opening. Situated in Eemshaven, Nehterlands, the wind turbines rotate 85 kilometres away in the North Sea making Gemini one of the largest offshore wind parks in the world till this date. The location was specifically selected as the park is invisible to the naked eye form the shore but the places offers some of the highest and most constant wind speeds in the North Sea, with an average wind speed of 36 kilometres per hour.
It covers an area of 68 square kilometres, and is comprised of 150 Siemens wind turbines with a capacity of 4.0MW each.
The budget for the park amounted to 2.8 billion euros. Gemini became operational and it was completed not only ahead of schedule but also under budget, according to officials.
“We successfully completed Gemini ahead of schedule, under budget and with an excellent safety record. Now fully operational, Gemini will produce 2.6 TWh of sustainable energy every year, reducing the Netherlands’ CO₂ emissions by 1.25 million tons. We are proud to make this contribution to the realization of the Netherlands’ sustainability targets,” said Matthais Haag, Managing Director of Gemini.
With a generating capacity of 600 MW, the new wind park will be able to meet the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers, the equivalent of the combined energy needs of all the citizens of the Netherlands’ three Northern provinces.
Gemini has two offshore high-voltage substations, each connected to the land station in Eemshaven by a 110-kilometre export cable. To lay the cable, constructors worked closely with the Wadden Sea Association that manages the Natura 2000 site that covers the area, and the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution.
“We worked closely with the Wadden Sea Association in order to lay a cable in the vulnerable Natura 2000 area while respecting the natural environment. And throughout construction, had there been any type of emergency, we could have called on the KNRM for assistance straight away. We’re extremely grateful to both organizations for their support,” said Haag at the grand opening.
According to the company, the Gemini Windpark marks a new beginning in the way the public thinks about wind energy, proving that this type of energy can be cheaply produced by constructing offshore parks.
Estimates show that the reduction in CO₂ emissions offered by Gemini is comparable to the emissions of 50,000 cars that each drive 25,000 kilometres a year. And people can track the wind speed and the amount of energy produced with the help of a free, downloadable app.
The Gemini Offshore Windpark is said to create between 75 and100 permanent jobs.
For those interested to see how the wind park looks like, for the grand opening, a platform was erected in order to offer a 360-degree view of Gemini.
Four companies combined forces to make Gemini possible: Northland Power, with 60% interest, Siemens, with 20%, Van Oord and HVC, both with 10% interest.