Westermeerwind is a 144MW wind farm in the shallow waters of IJsselmeer, the biggest lake in the Netherlands. The wind power project forms the offshore part of the country’s biggest wind farm, Noordoostpolder, situated along the dikes of the IJsselmeer.
The Westermeerwind wind farm was officially opened in June 2016. The wind project is owned by Westermeerwind, a special purpose company founded in 1996 by two farmers from Creil, Pieter Meulendijks and Tjitte de Groot, to build an offshore wind farm along the Westermeer and Noordermeer dikes in the IJsselmeer.
Financial closure for the Westermeerwind project was reached in July 2014, following which the turnkey construction order for the project was awarded to Siemens. A 15-year power purchase agreement with Eneco was signed in the same month.
The Westermeerwind wind farm project achieved full power in March 2016. The project, consisting of 48 wind turbines each with 3MW capacity, powers 160,000 homes.
Westermeerwind wind farm construction
Onshore construction works for the project, including building an onshore substation near Westermeer dike and ground preparation work for routing the cables, continued through 2014. Offshore construction works, starting with the placement of foundations for turbines, began in 2015.
The 1,600MW Eemshaven Power Station is being constructed near Eemshaven Port in Groningen, Netherlands. The coal-fired power station will have an option to be partially fired by biomass, generating an electrical efficiency of 46.2%.
Foundation laying and turbine installation works were performed using special floating barges due to shallow water depth at the project site.
The turbine foundations were placed at a 3m to 7m depth in the lake water, with 5m- diameter foundations and 40m monopiles weighing between 250t and 300t. The turbine towers have a direct flange connection with the monopiles. Upon completion of the driving work, a concrete maintenance platform was attached to the bottom of the tower before the start of turbine installation work.
The Westermeerwind turbines were commissioned in phases between the end of 2015 and the start of 2016. The last turbine at the wind farm was installed in March 2016.
The wind project created approximately 150 jobs during the construction phase.
Turbine details and plant make-up
The offshore wind farm contains 48 Siemens SWT-3.0-108 turbines placed in three rows between 500m and 1,100m from the dikes of Noordoostpolder, with two rows placed along the Westermeerdijk and one row along Noordermeerdijk.
The three-bladed direct-drive wind turbines from the Siemens D3 platform have a rotor diameter of 108m and are equipped with 53m-long B53 quantum blades made of fibreglass-reinforced epoxy. The pitch-regulated wind turbines, with a 79.5m hub height and 9,144m² of swept area, provide cheaper electricity in moderate-to-high wind conditions.
The rotor of the self-starting automatic turbine weighs approximately 60t and is connected to a 3,000kW capacity fully enclosed synchronous generator with permanent magnet excitation.
Westermeerwind project financing
The funding for the €320m ($428m) wind farm was provided by a consortium of banks including Rabobank, ING, ASN Bank and Triodos Bank. Part of the funding is guaranteed by Denmark’s export credit agency EKF.
Siemens was awarded the turnkey contract for the wind farm in July 2014. The contractual scope also includes 15 years of comprehensive maintenance of the wind farm by Siemens.
A consortium comprised of Ballast Nedam and Mammoet was awarded a €60m ($80m) contract by Siemens for providing construction services for the project. Ballast Nedam is responsible for the design, delivery and installation of the turbine foundations, while the turbine transportation and installation works were performed by Mammoet.
Visser & Smit Marine Contracting (VSMC) provided the cabling from the wind farm to the onshore electrical substation.
SIF Group and IHC Hydrohammer supplied the monopiles and the pile driver, respectively. Ventolines acted as a project manager on behalf of Westermeerwind.