Construction of the 288MW Meerwind Süd/Ost remains on track, with completion forecast for October, according to primary installation contractor, Seajacks. If this date is achieved, the project will have been built in 14 months, as per the project's original schedule, Windpower Offshore understands.
Seajacks’ Zaratan is due to install the sixtieth of eighty monopiles this week. All should be in place by the end of April, allowing for turbine installation to begin in May. Seajacks’ Leviathan is installing transition pieces.
"We’re pleased with the progress that’s been made over the winter months. Our crews and construction teams are operating effectively…having installed 6 monopiles in 8 days during periods of stable weather," commented Seajacks' CEO, Blair Ainslie.
Meerwind Süd/Ost will feature Siemens 3.6MW turbines, with Seajacks already having installed 230 units of this model since May 2010. Seajacks is working for Wind MW, while its previous clients include Dong, Statoil and Fluor.
Questions about HelWin1
It is possible that a grid connection will not be ready in time for the project's completion.* This raises the prospect of the wind farm operator, Wind MW, having to use generators to maintain the turbines, until the HelWin 1 cable link is operational. Such a scenario could potentially lead to a claim for damages by Wind MW.
Last month, Siemens said the HelWin 1 convertor station would be be installed this year, suggesting that grid connection could be ready by year-end. Siemens is building the HelWin 1 link on behalf of transmission system operator (TSO), TenneT. The subsea cable linking the HelWin 1 cluster to shore was installed last year.
*Additional info 22/03/13 - Latest information from TenneT is that HelWin 1 will be operating from autumn 2013, suggesting that Meerwind Süd/Ost will not be 'stranded'.