Important milestone reached in the construction of one of the world’s largest wind parks
The first monopile at the Gemini wind park has been successfully installed. The wind park will consist of 150 Siemens wind turbines in total, and is owned by Northland Power (60%), Siemens (20%), Van Oord (10%) and HVC (10%).
Gemini will be built in the North Sea, and the building process is taking place over a three year period. The park encompasses two 34 square kilometer areas and is located 85 kilometers off the coast of Groningen. Invisible from the coast, the wind park will generate energy in the part of the North Sea where wind speeds are among the highest and most constant in the world.
The monopiles are being placed by the main contractor Van Oord with their own offshore installation vessel the Aeolus, and a second hired vessel, the Pacific Osprey of Swire Blue Ocean. Each steel monopile is designed for its specific location in the wind park. Depending on sea depth, they vary in length from 59 to 73 meters. The monopiles have a diameter of 7 meters, and a wall thickness of 7 to 11 centimeters.
“The installation of the first monopile is a special moment for everyone involved in the project,” says Matthias Haag, CEO of Gemini. “The installation constitutes a milestone in the construction phase and has been realized as planned through close collaboration with our project partners.” During the three-year construction period, an estimated 500 people will work on the project. The park is expected to be fully operational by 2017. Once operational Gemini will generate clean and renewable energy for 1.5 million people in the Netherlands.
Gemini will be significantly contributing to the Netherlands and the European Union reaching their goals regarding sustainable energy. Through Gemini’s contribution, the Dutch CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 1.25 million tons per year. Gemini will therefore play an important role in the worldwide transition towards a sustainable future.
With a total capacity of 600 megawatts, Gemini is set to be one of the world’s largest offshore wind parks in the Dutch North Sea, both in size and in production. Four project partners have joined forces to make Gemini a reality: Canadian independent renewable energy company Northland Power (60% project interest), wind turbine manufacturer Siemens (20%), Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord (10%) and renewable energy, waste and raw materials company HVC(10%).