Operation and maintenance base for Nordsee One offshore wind farm officially inaugurated

  • New place of work for approx. 70 office and offshore service staff in Norddeich
  • Main service contracts agreed
  • All 54 wind turbine foundations, the offshore substation and inter-array cables have been already installed
  • Commissioning of the 332 megawatt wind farm anticipated in 2017

A new operation and maintenance base for the Nordsee One offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated in Norddeich (Lower-Saxony) today. Nordsee One, which is currently being built approximately 40km north of the island of Juist, will be operated and serviced from the venue, which comprises offices, a control room, sanitary facilities, a warehouse and a workshop, all located on a site that is approximately 1,500 square meters. The first office and offshore service staff have already moved into the new building.

Heiko Schmelzle, Member of the German Bundestag, explains: "We need alternative energy sources in Germany to spare the environment, tackle the energy turnaround and become more independent from energy imports. In this respect, offshore wind has gigantic potential because offshore wind farms are able to produce 'green' power almost around the clock. For the Nordsee One offshore wind farm to fully exploit its potential it will in future be operated and serviced out of Norddeich. This also sends a positive signal for Norden as an industrial location. I wish all staff that they feel at home in the new service building."

Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE: “Today’s inauguration officially makes Norddeich our home port for the successful operation of Nordsee One. Together with our local partner Norddeicher Schiffswerft, we erected a modern service building within an extremely short period of time. I would like to thank our partners, the city of Norden and everyone involved for their effort and commitment.”

The Norddeicher Schiffswerft GmbH built the new three-storey building and renovated the neighbouring storage hall in only 10 months. Nordsee One GmbH signed a long-term rental agreement for the facilities (26 years).

“Offshore wind farms require well-planned logistics and maintenance throughout their operating lives”, noted John Brace, CEO Northland Power. “With its proximity to the wind farm and excellent harbor facilities, Norddeich is the ideal base for Nordsee One’s operation and maintenance activities.” With offshore wind farms, environmental conditions can be challenging and may result in more wear and tear when compared to onshore turbines. An offshore wind turbine requires approximately four to five days of maintenance per year. The offshore substation and the foundation structures above and under water must also be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

Tim Kittelhake, Managing Director (COO) of Nordsee One GmbH added: “We need skilled and specially-trained personnel for remote control and monitoring activities as well as to perform offshore maintenance. This work includes ongoing performance monitoring, electrical switching operations as well as offshore inspection, maintenance and repair work. We plan to employ local staff over the long-term and collaborate with locally-based companies to maximize value to the community.”

Once Nordsee One is operational, approximately 70 people will work out of Norddeich on the project. Some of the offshore service staff provided by the Danish company Semco Maritime GmbH will maintain the foundation structures and the offshore substation. A corresponding five-year service agreement was signed at the beginning of September 2016, during the inauguration of the new Semco subsidiary in Norddeich.

Pierre Lestienne, Managing Director (CFO) of Nordsee One GmbH explained: “We are very pleased to close all main service contracts for the operations phase in this early stage of the project. The Norddeicher Schiffswerft is providing the required onshore facilities; Senvion will perform all maintenance for the wind turbine generators; Semco will provide maintenance of the 54 monopile foundations as well as the offshore substation topside and jacket foundation and EMS Maritime Offshore is providing the crew transfer vessel. All in, these contracts will provide full-time employment for approximately 44 skilled employees.”

From October 2016 onwards, the newly-built WINDEA FOUR crew transfer vessel will safely transfer technicians from Norddeich harbor to the wind farm on a daily basis. The vessel will be loaded with tools and spare parts at the dedicated quay wall.

Once completed, Nordsee One will consist of 54 wind turbines of the type Senvion 6.2M126 with an overall installed capacity of 332 megawatts. Nordsee One is owned by Northland Power Inc. (85%) and innogy SE (15%). All 54 wind turbine foundations, the offshore substation and inter-array cables have been already installed at the construction site of Nordsee One offshore wind farm. Turbine installation is anticipated to start early next year. Commissioning of the Nordsee One wind farm is anticipated in 2017.

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