He Dreiht offshore wind farm begins construction: Germany’s largest at €2.4bn


He Dreiht offshore wind farm : In a pivotal move for renewable energy, construction has commenced on Germany’s largest offshore wind farm, He Dreiht, located in the North Sea. This ambitious project, spearheaded by Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW), entails an investment of approximately €2.4 billion and promises to power 1.1 million households upon completion.

Unprecedented Scale and Innovation of the He Dreiht Offshore Wind Farm

Situated about 90 kilometers northwest of the island of Borkum and 110 kilometers west of Helgoland, the He Dreiht offshore wind farm is set to transform Germany’s energy landscape. The wind farm will feature 64 turbines, each with a capacity of 15 megawatts (MW), courtesy of the latest technology from Vestas. Notably, these turbines will be the first commercially used Vestas V236-15 models, capable of sweeping through an area equivalent to six football fields with each rotation.

The €2.4 billion He Dreiht offshore wind farm is setting new standards in renewable energy, powering 1.1 million households without state funding

The €2.4 billion He Dreiht offshore wind farm is setting new standards in renewable energy, powering 1.1 million households without state funding

Strategic Deployment and Infrastructure

More than 500 employees will be involved at peak times during the construction phase, coordinated from EnBW’s offshore office in Hamburg. The installation of turbine foundations for the He Dreiht offshore wind farm will utilize the Thialf, one of the world’s largest floating cranes, to place 70-meter-long monopile steel foundations into the seabed. A vast fleet of over 60 ships will support the operations, illustrating the massive logistical undertaking required for such a large-scale project.

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He Dreiht Offshore Wind Farm Financial and Commercial Strategy

One of the most notable aspects of the He Dreiht offshore wind farm is its funding structure. As one of the first offshore wind farms built without state subsidies, it represents a significant shift in how renewable projects are financed. EnBW has lined up a series of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with major corporations like Frankfurt Airport, Evonik, and Bosch, securing a stable revenue stream and mitigating market price fluctuations. The project also received a substantial €600 million in financing from the European Investment Bank.

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He Dreiht Offshore Wind Farm Technical and Grid Integration

Upon completion scheduled for late 2025, the wind farm will be connected to the grid by TenneT, the Dutch-German grid operator. This involves laying 120 kilometers of underwater cables and another 110 kilometers on land to the Garrel/Ost converter station, ensuring efficient energy transmission across regions.

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Environmental Impact and Energy Transition

He Dreiht is poised to double EnBW’s current offshore portfolio, significantly advancing Germany’s energy transition goals. The project underscores EnBW’s role as a pioneer in the offshore wind sector, building on the success of previous projects like EnBW Hohe See and Albatros.

The He Dreiht offshore wind farm is a testament to the evolving dynamics in the renewable energy sector, where large-scale projects can now be realized without direct state funding, relying instead on innovative financial structures like PPAs. This shift not only enhances the economic viability of renewable projects but also encourages corporate participation in green energy initiatives, aligning with global sustainability goals.

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