Pondera celebrates inauguration GE Haliade-X 12 MW

On 17 and 19 December 2019 Pondera celebrated the inauguration of the World’s largest wind turbine: the GE Haliade-X 12 MW. “As developer and co-owner together with Sif – in the Futurewind project – we are proud to have contributed to this important new step in wind turbine technology” said Hans Rijntalder, Director of Pondera. He continues “And we would like to congratulate GE with this outstanding achievement. No need to tell that this step is important for the market development in Offshore Wind.”

During the official opening ceremony on 17 December, it was announced that Dutch energy company Eneco is set to purchase all the electricity generated by GE’s Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine prototype. On 19 December we invited clients and relations to see and to hear more about this breakthrough technology.

According to GE, the Haliade-X 12MW prototype set a new world record by being the first wind turbine ever to generate 262MWh of clean energy in 24 hours, enough to power 30,000 households in the region.

Over the next five years, the Haliade-X prototype will undergo a series of tests to validate its power curve, loads, grid performance and reliability. The tests will also allow GE to validate operational procedures for installation and services teams and obtain a Type Certificate for the Haliade-X in 2020. Commercialization is planned by 2021, with serial production set to start in the second half of 2021.

17 december, official world wide press moment

19 december, Pondera Haliade-X client event

Nacelle installed on GE Haliade-X 12 MW turbine

The Nacelle of the largest offshore wind turbine in the world Pondera GE Haliade-X 12 MW has been successfully installed at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam.

Key figures for the Haliade-X 12 MW

Capacity: 12 MW
Rotor diameter: 220 m
Blade length: 107 m
Hub height: 150 m
Tip height: 260 m
Wind turbine swept area: 38,000 m2
Annual energy yield: approx. 67 GWh

General information

Pondera Development and SIF Holding, together with GE Renewable Energy, are developing the Haliade-X on the Maasvlakte 2 in Rotterdam. The development of the innovative Haliade-X project in Rotterdam has been made possible thanks to Pondera’s extensive knowledge and many years of experience in Dutch wind energy legislation and regulatory policy. The increase in size and scale of (offshore) wind turbines is an important step in generating more sustainable energy, accelerating the energy transition and thereby limiting the effects of climate change.

The offshore wind turbine prototype will be installed onshore in order to ease access for testing and monitoring purposes. This will also allow GE to collect the data needed to obtain the Type Certificate, a key step in commercializing the Haliade-X.

The Haliade-X can generate 67 GWh of electricity annually. That is enough power for 16,000 European households and thus saves 42 megatons of CO2. In the fall of 2019, the Haliade-X will generate renewable energy on the SIF site on the Maasvlakte.

Pondera/Hanmi Global enter Korean Offshore Wind project

Dutch based engineering consultancy Pondera and Korean engineering company Hanmi Global announced that they were awarded a contract from Jeju Hanlim Offshore Wind Co. to perform the role as an owner’s engineer.

The Jeju Hanlim Offshore project is the third offshore wind project in the Korean waters and the second one on a commercial scale. It is located near the Tamra Offshore project just of the coast of Jeju Island. The project size is approximately 100 MW. A consortium that consists of Korean KEPCO E&C in the lead combined with KOMIPO, DAELIM and BARAM is developing the project since 2011. The realisation of the project is an important step to speed up the utilisation of the offshore wind potential in Korea. It is expected that many other projects will follow as the Korean Governmental target to reach 20% renewables in 2030 is still far away. The idea is to develop 13 GW of offshore wind by that time.

Pondera and Hanmi are pleased with this contract. “It is a major breakthrough for us after being present in Korea for some years now and we hope to be able to assist our Korean colleagues with our Western owners engineering experience,” Pondera’s CEO Hans Rijntalder explains. Hanmi Global’s CEO Jong Hoon Kim adds: “Also for us this is an important step. We have a lot of experience with project realisation and construction management, but our knowledge of offshore wind projects is still limited. Therefore, we are happy to join forces with Pondera.”

Largest wind turbines for low to medium wind-speed projects

Windy areas in countries that have well-developed wind energy markets, like the US, UK or Germany, are gradually being filled by wind farms. Renewable energy developers are therefore looking at opportunities to further develop wind farms in areas with low to medium wind speeds. Other regions with lower wind speeds are also being considered in new and upcoming markets like parts of West and Southern Asia, South-East Asia, Africa and other mid to lower latitude regions around the world.

Wind turbine manufacturers are attempting to cover this segment of the market by producing turbines that are specifically targeted to lower wind-speed sites and conditions. This is done by providing customers with higher turbine towers, combining existing generators with newer and longer turbine blades or even designing new generators from scratch. As wind turbines become more reliable, efficient and less costly, it is expected that even low wind-speed conditions in near-shore and offshore locations will also be further exploited in the future.

What does the wind energy industry consider low or medium wind-speed turbines? According to the IEC 61400-1: 2019 (editie 4.0) international standard regarding wind turbine design, when looking at annual average wind speeds, we find that wind turbines are categorized into four design classes: I (up to 10 m/s), II (up to 8.5 m/s), III (up to 7.5 m/s) and S (a site specific class). When turbulence intensity is considered, the following categories are added as suffixes to the classes:  A+ (a turbulence intensity up to 0.18),  A (up to 0.16), B (up to 0.14) and C (up to 0.12). Furthermore, the 10-min average wind speed with a 50 year return period in normal and typhoon conditions is also considered in the classification (Table 1). For example, class IA+ is then the most extreme wind turbine class outside of class S.

Still, there is no standardized definition of what constitutes “low” or “medium” wind speeds, which are basically qualitative descriptions. However, generally speaking, low wind-speed turbines are often considered as being in the classes up to IIIA (7.5 m/s), with medium wind speed turbines considered to be in the classes up to IIA (8.5 m/s). All other classes up to IA+ are generally considered to be high wind speed turbines.

Below, we look at the latest wind turbines designed for the low to medium-wind speed market. Each turbine mentioned on our list is offered by a different manufacturer in order to get a good view of what is or will become available in the near future. This list is not a full overview, but it does cover most of the major players in the wind turbine industry.

Siemens Gamesa SG 5.8-170

First on our list is the largest onshore dedicated wind turbine in the world in terms of rotor size as of writing. The SG 5.8-170, as obvious from its name, has a rotor diameter of 170 m, consisting of a three-stage gearbox and a 5.8 MW generator which is also the most powerful in the Siemens Gamesa onshore family of turbines. Hub heights are site specific and can range from 100 to 165 m according to the company’s website. The turbine is specifically recommended for low to medium wind speed conditions, with the first prototype expected to be built in the third quarter of 2020.

Siemens Gamesa SG 5.8-170

Vestas V162-5.6 MW

The V162 has the largest rotor size of all onshore Vestas wind turbines to date and is part of the newest EnVentus platform utilizing permanent magnet generators. The IEC S classed turbine is designed for low to medium wind sites but also suitable for higher wind speeds. Hub heights are expected to range between 119 and 166 m. As the first company to globally install 100 GW of wind turbines, Vestas aims to target the low to medium wind speed market with the EnVentus platform while continuing to develop also smaller turbines in the 3 MW range for the lower wind speed categories. The V162 is expected to roll out as a prototype in the middle of 2020.

Vestas V162-5.6 MW

Enercon E-160 EP5

The largest turbine in the Enercon line, the E-160 EP5 was presented at the WindEurope Conference in Bilbao in April 2019. Based on the Dutch Lagerwey technology acquired by Enercon in 2018, this gear-less permanent magnet turbine has a class IIIA designation, with a 160 m rotor size, a hub height ranging from 120 to 166 m and a rated power of 4.6 MW. The prototype is planned to be tested in early 2020.

Enercon E-160 EP5

GE 5.3-158

The GE 5.3-158 is part of the new onshore Cypress platform of turbines designed to be scalable over time in order to offer wider ranges in rated power and hub heights. The turbine was presented at the WindEurope Conference 2018 in Hamburg. It is currently GE’s largest and most powerful onshore wind turbine and builds on the previous GE 4.8-158 turbine design. The turbine was installed at ECN’s Wieringermeer test site, waar Pondera Consult assisted in the permitting, noise and shadow studies. Pondera was also responsible for the wind resource assessment and the energy yield calculation for the wind turbine’s Dutch subsidy application. Despite the 5.3-158 being the largest onshore GE wind turbine, it is still not GE’s largest. This prize goes to GE’s offshore Haliade-X with a rotor size of 220 m, making it currently the largest wind turbine in the world. The Haliade-X is being installed for prototype testing in the Port of Rotterdam’s Tweede Maasvlakte area by GE and Future Wind, a joint venture between Sif Holding and Pondera Development.

GE 5.3-158

Goldwind GW155-3.3MW

In October 2018, the largest Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind announced the development of the GW155-3.3MW as part of the 3S platform. If built, it will become the largest Chinese manufactured onshore dedicated wind turbine in terms of rotor size. The permanent magnet direct-drive (PMDD) GW155-3.3MW was announced together with the low wind-speed offshore GW168-6.45MW turbine that is also adaptable for typhoon conditions. This clearly indicates Goldwind’s increased focus on the low wind-speed market segment, which is also very important for China being the largest wind energy market in the world.

Goldwind 3S platform

Nordex N149/4.0-4.5

The Nordex N149/4.0-4.5 is the winner of the 2018  Windpower Monthly Wind turbine of the year award in the +3 MW category. The turbine has found success in several parts of the world, including a recent order of 74 turbines destined for the US state of Oklahoma and another 35 turbines ordered by Acciona for the state of Victoria in south-eastern Australia. The turbine is part of the Nordex’s Delta4000 platform and was first installed in August 2018 at the Wennerstorf II wind farm in Germany. The S class N149/4.0-4.5 turbine has a 3-stage gearbox with a double fed asynchronous generator scalable up to rated power of 4.5 MW and is offered with a hub-height ranging between 105 and 164 m. Surprisingly, Nordex has recently announced their newest turbine in the Delta4000 platform, the N155/4.5 with a rotor diameter of 155 m. Production of the N155 is expected to start in the later part of 2020.

Nordex N149/4.0-4.5

Envision EN148-4.5

The only low wind-speed “offshore” turbine on our list and probably one of the better looking ones, Envision Energy’s  EN148-4.5 was designed together with Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni. Envision Energy is the second largest Chinese manufacturer, with more than 2600 installed turbines world-wide and claims to be the leader in the low to medium wind-speed Chinese turbine market. The class S designated EN148-4.5 has a 3-stage gear box, a 4.5 MW rated power generator and a rotor diameter of 148 m.

Envision EN148-4.5

Senvion 4.2M148 EBC

Senvion’s largest onshore wind turbine was presented at AWEA’s WINDPOWER 2018 conference in Chicago, US.  4.2M148 EBC is certified in the IEC S class, based on the IEC IIIB classification, making it a flexible turbine for the low to medium onshore wind-speed conditions. It consists of an updated gear-box design with a rotor size of 148 m and a rated power that can be maximized up to 4.5 MW. The turbine has been ordered to be installed at wind farms in Chile in 2020.

Senvion 4MW wind turbine series

Is bigger always better?

Whether bigger is always better really depends on the situation. In general, a large rotor swept area will convert more wind into energy. However there are many factors that need to be considered like the site specific conditions and wind climate, the costs of the turbine and its installation, the operation and maintenance costs, the turbine’s power curve and its overall capacity factor. All these factors play a role in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). The “specific power”, which is the ratio between the rated power of the generator (also called the name plate capacity or nominal capacity) and the rotor swept area, is also an important factor. A very large rotor size combined with a smaller rated power would lower the specific power, reducing the amount of electricity generated. However, there are examples where lowering the specific power is purposely chosen in order to maximize the capacity factor, producing more stable and cheaper energy. In such cases, turbines like the Goldwind GW155-3.3MW or the Nordex N149 4.0 MW are sometimes more reliable options for developers than more powerful turbines.

Haydar Hussin

My name is Haydar Hussin and I am a Renewable Energy Consultant at Pondera Consult and Wind Minds. I am involved in the development of wind energy projects in The Netherlands and abroad. My fascination for combining science and business gives me an interdisciplinary view on sustainable energy which I would like to share with the readers of my blog posts.

Eneco signs largest PPA with Dutch wind farm

On Wednesday, 17 July, Eneco signed a Power Purchase Contract (PPA) with Windpark Fryslân bv. During 15 years, Eneco will purchase the electricity produced by the 382,7 MW nearshore Fryslân Wind Farm. With an annual production of 1,500 GWh, it is the largest PPA that the Dutch energy company has signed with a wind farm in the Netherlands.

The contract was negotiated by Ventolines, allround service provider in the renewable energy market. Companies and organisations located in the Province of Fryslân will have the chance to purchase local electricity. With the new PPA included, Eneco’s wind energy portfolio grows to 2,200 MW of installed capacity, the equivalent of the energy consumption of around 2,4 million households.

Fryslân Wind Farm

Fryslân Wind Farm is being built along the Afsluitdijk in the IJsselmeer, approximately 6 km off the Frysian coast in the north of the Netherlands. The wind farm is built by Zuiderzeewind, a consortium of Siemens Gamesa and Van Oord. Van Oord is responsible for the design, manufacturing and installation of the foundations and the cables and for the delivery of the material for the installation of the turbines. Siemens Gamesa is responsible for the design, manufacturing and commissioning of the wind turbines and the onshore substation.

At the moment, cable connection preparatory activities are taking place at the Afsluitdijk. In total, 89 Siemens Gamesa SWT- 4,3- DD -130 wind turbines, with each a power of 4.3 MW will rise in the IJsselmeer lake. The annual production of 1,500 GWh can be compared to the annual electricity consumption of around 500,000 households. Local citizens will profit from the wind farm. An annual fund of around 720,000 euro will be made available for local projects in the municipality of Súdwest Fryslân.

Pondera initiated the project in 2008 together with Ventolines. Until now Pondera was responsible for all development work, including feasibility studies, design, extensive nature research, permits, EIA, stakeholder management in close collaboration with Ventolines.

Indonesian members of parliament visit Holland

On June 27th 2019, a delegation of the Indonesian members of parliament lead by Dr. Agus Hermanto (Deputy Speaker of The House of Representatives), visited the Noordoostpolder Wind Farm in the Dutch province of Flevoland. The aim of the delegation’s two-day visit was to acquire knowledge on Dutch policy and incentives concerning wind energy.

Indonesia’s Embassy in The Hague asked Pondera Consult to organize the field visit and to discuss wind energy developments. Pondera Consult was further approached due to their close involvement in the development of the Noordoostpolder Wind Farm, one of the largest onshore wind energy projects in the Netherlands.

During the visit, Pondera’s Eric Arends, Ester Bierens and Brent Elemans warmly welcomed the delegation to the 11 BEAUFORT Visitor Centre, where an interactive presentation was given by Eric Arends on the development of the Noordoostpolder Wind Farm. Some of the key points discussed with the Indonesian delegation were the Dutch energy policy, stimulation of energy initiatives through subsidies, local participation and ecological conservation. Also the potential of wind energy in Indonesia and the involvement of Pondera in current Indonesian projects were mentioned. The visit was rounded off with a site tour by the delegation to get first-hand experience of the size and number of wind turbines of the Noordoostpolder Wind Farm.

Pondera in Vietnam with PM Rutte for trade mission

Eric Arends, partner at Pondera Consult, is currently partaking in a trade mission to Vietnam, organised by VNO-NCW. The mission lasts from the 7th to the 12th of April. The cities of Hanoi, Danang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City will be visited during the mission. Apart from Pondera Consult, companies from other industries, such as Agriculture, Water and Logistics are also represented.

Prime Minister Rutte himself will be present in Vietnam on Tuesday, April 9th. He will speak with Prime Minister Phuc on the strengthening of the mutual relationships and on the possibilities to improve and intensify the mutual trade. Moreover, the collaboration on topics such as water, agriculture, food security and climate change is a conversation topic. Several treaties, contracts and agreements aiming for closer co-operation will be signed with both heads of government present. PM Rutte will also meet the Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong and the chairman of the parliament, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

Pondera Consult will function as the offshore wind expert during the trade mission. We wrote about the opportunities for wind energy in Vietnam. Moreover, Eric Arends attended the offshore wind roundtable in Vietnam in 2018, in preparation for this year’s trade mission.

Eric Arends during the trade mission in Vietnam

Ground breaking ceremony at future Haliade-X 12 MW

Future Wind (the Joint Venture between Pondera Development and SIF Holding Netherlands) organized a symbolic ground-breaking event that took place in Maasvlakte, Rotterdam, to celebrate the start of preparatory activities to host GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW prototype in Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. The first activities on the ground started early this year with the construction of the Haliade-X 12MW foundation, that will contain 50 piles that will be covered by a 28-meter long foundation plate. Activities to prepare foundation will continue until the arrival of Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle, blades and tower prototype parts later in the summer.

Alderman Arno Bonte joined the ceremony and stressed the importance of this project for the Municipality and the Port of Rotterdam. ”This special offshore wind turbine symbolises the transition from a fossil based economy towards an economy based on renewables. Wind energy at sea will be one of the main power sources in the Netherlands for the coming decades and the Rotterdam city and harbour is ready to play an important role in this transition.”

Hans Rijntalder and Diederik de Bruin, managers Future Wind “We are very pleased to accommodate the Haliade X-12MW, it marks a new step in offshore wind and supports the purpose of Sif and Pondera to encourage the improvement of the wind energy sector”. 

Vincent Schellings, CTO and General Manager Product Management for GE’s Renewable Energy Offshore Wind business and leader of the Haliade-X 12 MW project said, “We are very excited about our prototype in Rotterdam, and we are on schedule to install the biggest and more powerful wind turbine in the world, that will contribute to make offshore wind energy more competitive.”

This Haliade-X 12 MW prototype will be installed onshore to facilitate access for testing. During the initial period of operations, it will allow GE Renewable Energy to collect data needed to obtain the Type Certificate in 2020 and ship the first commercial units in 2021.

GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW is currently being assembled at GE’s factory in Saint-Nazaire, France, while its three LM Wind Power-designed 107-metre blades are being manufactured in Cherbourg, France, and tower sections produced in Seville, Spain. All components will be shipped to Rotterdam, where pre-assembly work and installation will take place.

This prototype in Rotterdam is part of the $400 (€320) million investment in the Haliade-X development announced by GE Renewable Energy in March 2018 to help reduce offshore wind’s cost of energy in order to make it a more competitive source of clean, renewable energy.

Early this year GE Renewable Energy and Future Wind announced that they signed an agreement to install the first Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine prototype in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam (NL) during summer 2019. The deal includes five years of testing and a 15-year full-service Operation and Maintenance agreement.

Arcadis and Pondera collaborate on offshore grid permits and EIA

Arcadis, the globally operating design- and consultancy organisation for the natural and built environment, and Pondera, the specialist in renewable energy, will manage the permits and the EIA, including the accompanying studies, for two underground grid connections from the North Sea to the shore, on behalf of TenneT. The EIA and permits are about the connection of the offshore wind energy area Ijmuiden Ver to TenneT’s natonal power grid. The offshore connection consists of two DC-connections, each carrying 2 Gigawatt (GW) of wind energy to the shore. Financial details are not disclosed, according to Arcadis.

Using an offshore converter station, cables on sea, and cables on land, the electricity will reach an onshore converter station, which converts the DC to AC, which can go onto the national power grid. In this way, the largest energy production capacity of the Netherlands will be connected to the power grid. These projects are a continuation of several other projects regarding offshore grid connections to Arcadis and Pondera.

Pondera Director Hans Rijntalder is excited: “This wind farm contributes to the sustainability of the Dutch energy supply. The challenge is to find a good balance between future-proof technical solutions, environmental effects, costs and spatial planning, together with the environment.” Managing Director Gert Kroon of Arcadis is proud on the good cooperation. “Pondera and Arcadis complement each other. This collaboration allows us to help TenneT meet their deadlines for their offshore wind planning.

Map of wind farms.
Map of the upcoming new wind farms in the Netherlands.

LCoE of future Dutch offshore wind farms

The Netherlands has the ambition to have multiple offshore windfarms operational by 2030 to fulfil climate agreements. The future wind farms will be constructed in sites located offshore of the North-Holland coast and north of the Wadden Isles. The ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands recently gained insight into the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) of different variants for the wind farm sites considered for Hollandse Kust (west), Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden  and IJmuiden Ver.

BLIX Consultancy and Pondera Consult provided the study. Sites with varying energy density (in MW per km2) were considered. The LCoE was modelled per individual turbine with yield simulations and a financial model based on recent market prices.

Wikipedia: The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is the net present value of the unit-cost of electricity over the lifetime of a generating asset. It is often taken as a proxy for the average price that the generating asset must receive in a market to break even over its lifetime.

The results of this study were discussed by the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Dutch wind industry. The tender of the first project in this study (Hollandse Kust (west)) is planned in 2020/2021.

Ben de Sonneville, researcher BLIX Consultancy: “We are proud to have contributed to optimizing the wind farm zones of the Dutch offshore wind roadmap 2030. We gained interesting new insights. The results reveal which site alternatives have lowest costs (LCoE) for wind farm development. Also, the study shows which factors (such as site orientation, water depth, wakes) influence the LCoE in each zone and which subareas are most economic for wind farm development.”