Germany's first offshore wind farm begins turning

Apr 27, 2010
Windmills of the alpha ventus offshore wind farm near the North Sea island Borkum are pictured on April 23.The blades began turning at Germany's first offshore wind farm Tuesday, 45 kilometres (28 miles) off the coast in the North Sea, with 12 turbines producing energy for 50,000 households.

The blades began turning at Germany's first offshore wind farm Tuesday, 45 kilometres (28 miles) off the coast in the North Sea, with 12 turbines producing energy for 50,000 households.

The turbines, each 150 metres high, produce 12 megawatts of power and the total cost of the project was 250 million euros (332 million dollars), the consortium of companies that built the farm said.

The wind farm was designed as a "test ground" to examine the environmental damage on local species from such turbines, which are embedded 30 metres below the surface.

Germany aims to achieve a capacity of 25,000 megawatts in offshore wind energy by 2030, said Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, formally opening the park.

The project, named Alpha Ventus, was financed by Germany's number one energy provider EON, Vattenfall Europe, a subsidiary of the Swedish energy giant, and EWE.

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User comments : 8

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1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2010
if these windmills have a 20 yr lifespan w/ no maintenance costs and generate 12 megawatts 50% of the time (the other 50%, zero), and that is being generous, then the cost per kwh is $0.32, w/o adding any costs to get the power to land! Not very attractive but certainly better then solar.

I know, I know; "but it's green......."
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2010
They clearly stated that this is a test in the article.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2010
Windmills can last much longer than 20 yrs
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2010
28 miles off shore they should produce more than 50% of the time.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2010
@Deat: If for no other reason, having a variety of energy sources is important for keeping the price of oil down. If some people or democratic bodies are willing to pay more for green energy, then it is less demand on fossil fuels.
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2010
On land turbines last around 9 years before needing major maintenance. The costings for these off-shore boondoggles miraculously assume 20 years - in a marine environment!
Not mentioned in the article is the huge cost over-runs in this project. The cost is looking like around $19bn GW of actual annual output once intermittency is allowed for.
The foundations shifted and need stabilizing already, at a cost of around $250,000 per turbine.
Great cost plus work for the companies involved, utter disaster for customers.
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2010
This is all a large load of manure. What is needed to power modern society is increasing energy density not diffuse wind power. That takes us backward several hundred years. (What would Don Quixote think of us fools?) As an astute commenter has already observed here, we have enough thorium for a thousand years. So why do we kowtow to at best misguided fools? Simply put:the agenda of radical environmentalism is to reduce the population. And there is big money behind this agenda. It doesn't take rocket science to see through the charade.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2010
Dear deatopmg

Do your math again. 50% of 12 megawatts running for 20 years is 1.05 terawatt hours. Divide that into $332 million gets you $0.0003 per KWH, a thousand-fold cheaper than you claimed.

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