Siemens has just clinched a deal with the Dutch Offshore Wind consortium called the Gemini Project. The contracts are for the construction, financing, and operations in Dutch offshore waters- a first for Siemens. Siemens will deliver 150 turbines, each with a capacity of 4MW, and a blade diameter of 130 metres.
Included in the deal is a 15-year service and maintenance agreement for the Gemini project which is the largest service order ever for Siemens Energy Service. It will introduce a highly advanced logistics concept for offshore sites that might be a model for future offshore service contracts. For the first time, a helicopter will be available for the project at all times and a specially designed, purpose-built service operation vessel (SOV) will be actually based at the wind farm. Together, these mean that maintenance work can be carried out at almost all times irrespective of the weather conditions or wave height.
Markus Tacke, the CEO of the Wind Power Division of Siemens Energy, said:
“With the project we are entering one of the most important emerging offshore wind markets in Europe.”
Randy Zwirn, the CEO of Energy Services for Siemens Energy said:
“Wind energy is becoming increasingly important to the world’s energy mix. Therefore wind turbines need to operate at optimum levels over their entire service life. This record achievement for our offshore wind service business underscores confidence in the highly advanced and innovative service logistics concept we created for Gemini, which is a direct result of the significant investments we make in R&D and the years of experience we have as the world’s leading offshore service provider.”
Financial Services contributed to securing the Siemens bid by participating in the Gemini consortium via an equity investment. The multi-source financing model used in the project can help meet the increased capital investment required to finance the next stage in the offshore wind market’s development. It represents how the appetite for offshore wind assets can be aligned across a wide range of investing groups: Northland Power Inc., a Canadian independent power producer, is the main shareholder, owning sixty percent of the shares in Gemini. 20 percent are owned by Siemens Financial Services, while smaller stakes belong to Van Oord (10%) and HVC (10%), a joint venture of 48 Dutch municipalities and six water regulatory authorities.
Nothland Power CEO John Brace, said:
“As the global leader in offshore wind turbine supply with more than 20 years of experience, the involvement of Siemens contributes to the solid structure of the project and will help us to deliver a high quality facility that will help to fulfil the Netherlands’ renewable energy targets.”
Matthias Haag, the CEO of Gemini said:
“With project financing and all building and supply contracts now in place, our focus has already shifted to the construction phase. We have assembled a team of experts in the offshore wind industry, and will be working closely with Northland Power, Siemens and Van Oord to make offshore wind power a vital and significant part of the Netherlands’ electricity supply.”
It is planned that this mega offshore wind farm will provide one and a half million Dutch citizens with green renewable energy. This will be a great boost to help the Dutch government to achieve the targets mandated by the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive. The Netherlands must reach a 14 percent share of energy from renewable sources by 2020. As of this month the Dutch market has an installed wind power capacity of 2.7 gigawatts (GW), of which 2.45 GW is onshore. The offshore target is 4.45 GW to be operational in 2023.
The turbines to be used were launched in February last year (the SWT 4.0-130) at the annual conference of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in Vienna. This new wind turbine features a generating capacity of four megawatts (MW) and a rotor diameter of 130 meters. The new design was a further development of the popular SWT 3.6 family, more units of which have been sold and installed worldwide than any other offshore wind turbine.