One of the world’s largest offshore wind farms officially opened this week in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.
The 600 MW Gemini Offshore Wind Park, with its 150 4-megawatt Siemens wind turbines, is by far the largest offshore wind farm ever built in the Netherlands, and it is the second-largest in the world. The park covers an area of 68 square kilometers and is located approximately 85 kilometers off the coast of Groningen, making it out-of-view from land. Average wind speed in the area is approximately 36 kilometers per hour.
“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’ CO? emissions by 1.25 million tons. We are proud to make this contribution to the realisation of the Netherlands’ sustainability targets,” said Matthais Haag, Managing Director of Gemini.
Over the next 15 years Gemini will meet the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers, reducing emissions equivalent to 50,000 cars driving 25,000 kilometers per year.
Construction of the wind park began in 2015 and required an investment of 2.8 billion euros, with financing by 25 banks from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. To date, Gemini is the largest project financing for an offshore wind park.
As the EPC contractor for the project, Netherlands-based Van Oord designed and built all of the foundations for the turbines, as well as two Offshore High Voltage Stations, one Onshore High Voltage Station, two lines of 100-kilometer-long Offshore HV-cables, and 150 inter-array cables.
In addition to being the main contractor, Van Oord is also a shareholder, owning a 10% equity stake in this project. Other shareholders include Northland Power Inc. (60%), Siemens (20%), and HVC (10%).
John Brace, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gemini, officially opened the massive offshore wind park Monday in Eemshaven, where the management and maintenance headquarters is located. The project is expected to create about 75 to 100 permanent jobs.
The Gemini Offshore Wind Park is the world’s second largest behind London Array, which is comprised of 175 producing 630 MW of power. It is located in the North Sea off Kent, England.