AREVA Multibrid completes the first wind energy plants for alpha ventus


September 08, 2008

Multibrid GmbH will carry out the initial start-up test on the first wind energy plants for the German wind energy test field alpha ventus during the coming weeks. This entails the wind energy plant being tested together with the electrotechnical systems located in the tower and put into operation for the first time. Subsequently, the plants are prepared for dispatch.

Only mid-June 2007 Multibrid concluded a contract with DOTI, the operating company founded by EWE, Vattenfall and EON, to supply six foundations and plants. That only just over one year later all the foundations are ready together with an intensive certification process with confirmation of the extreme giants tested for heavy-duty use in the North Sea proves the high level of know-how of Multibrid in the implementation of offshore projects.

Multibrid and DOTI agreed by contract that the plants should be erected by summer 2009 – however, all parties involved have done everything they can to speed up the project. “The status achieved is remarkable”, are the words of Jörg Kuhbier, chairman of the offshore wind energy forum. "The test field alpha ventus has already shown that the plans to extend offshore wind energy can be implemented technically – the status of the test field achieved in this short period – being set up for the first time in the world in such deep waters and at such a distance from the shore – is also thanks to the intensive and very good cooperation with the authorities”, says Michael Klingele, project leader at Multibrid for this project.

The procedures for erecting the some 700 tons heavy foundations are also subject to an intensive control process which was also completed successfully. Over the last few weeks Multibrid had to cope with very bad weather conditions which brought unusually high waves for August of more than 1.5 meters on average which did not permit the installation of the foundations for the biggest part of the month with the installation logistics available today.

However, this delay with the foundations did not have an effect on the progress of the project. “Prior to the installation and starting-up of the wind energy plants we also need the connection with the grid on which we have no influence”, according to Niels Erdmann, Managing Director of Multibrid. This will probably be delayed until next year. In order to ensure a cost-effective project management despite these conditions, Multibrid has decided to set up the foundations and the plants next year so that connection to the grid can commence together with the startup of the operation.

The manufacturers of offshore wind energy plants are well-prepared for the expansion of offshore wind technology. However, there is urgent need for the manufacturing of installation units which are not dependent upon the weather conditions. Finished concepts are available and the branch expects the first specialised installation units to be ready by the end of next year.