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Offshore wind operations base on Heligoland planned

RWE, E.ON and WindMW plan to construct a maintenance and operations base for offshore wind farms in the North Sea

By Renewable Energy Focus Staff

The maintenance and operation base will service three offshore wind farms owned by E.ON, RWE and WindMW in the North Sea off the coast of Germany.

The southern port of Heligoland will be developed under the plans. Three service buildings will be built with workshops and warehouses on a site of around 10,000 square metres.

The newly founded port operator, Hafenbetriebsgesellschaft Heligoland (HGH) will coordinate the project, which includes developing the site, upgrading the quay edge and the creation of 10 mooring berths by building an additional landing pier.

The construction of the service base and the upgrading of the port could be carried out over the next year and be completed late in 2012. It is expected to create up to 150 permanent jobs, and further temporary ones in supply, construction and shipping.

The three wind farms that will be serviced by the base are RWE Innogy’s 295 MW Nordsee Ost, E.ON’s 300 MW Amrumbank West and Blackstone’s 288 MW Meerwind. The latter will be built and operated by WindMW. All three wind farms are situated between 25km and 35km off the coast of Heligoland.

Professor Martin Skiba, Head of Offshore Wind Power at RWE Innogy, says: "We intend to use Heligoland as a service centre already during the construction phase, but especially for the entire lifetime of the wind power plant. With its exposed position, some 40km off the coast, this island is cut out for developing such an operations base. It is all the more important to create the necessary infrastructure quickly now."

Sven Utermöhlen, Managing Director of E.ON Climate & Renewables Central Europe, says: "The development of the port of Heligoland into a service and operations base is an important element of our offshore scheme. Heligoland will be the construction and operations base for our Amrumbank offshore wind farm with which we intend to consistently expand our portfolio in the offshore segment."

Jens Assheuer, Managing Director of WindMW GmbH, says: "Offshore wind power systems require more maintenance than onshore wind turbines because the stresses created by waves and seawater are greater. Short distances and good downstream service logistics are therefore essential preconditions for the economically efficient operation of such power plants.”

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