Europe’s Largest Wind Farm Open For Business: Impact on Manufacturing

Europe just opened the world’s second largest offshore wind farm. With more than 150 turbines and expected to produce about 2.6 TwH of electricity every year, this will be the Netherlands largest offshore wind farm. It’s located in the North Sea, 53 miles north of Groningen, it’s not viewable from shore and the location is particularly fruitful when it comes to producing energy from wind.

With high average wind speeds averaging around 22 mph, it bodes well for Gemini’s future. The wind farm has a capacity of 600 MW second only to the largest offshore wind farm, the London Array. The project cost $3 billion to construct and is part of a collaboration between the Canadian independent renewable-energy company Northland Power, the wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord and waste processing company HVC.

“We are now officially in the operational stage,” Managing director Matthias Haad said in a statement. He continued, “It has been quite a complex undertaking, particularly as this wind park lies relatively far offshore… so it took quite a lot of logistics,”.

Not only is the wind farm impressive, the entire process of generating and transporting the energy to shore is an incredible feat of engineering. The energy generated by Gemini will be sent to two substations before being transported 68 miles to the Eemshaven seaport. Then a land station will manage and maintain the entire operation where the energy will eventually be sent to the country’s energy grid. They expect that Gemini alone will contribute around 13% of the country’s total renewable energy supply, reducing the Netherlands emissions of CO2 by 1.25 tons.

Projects on this scale are an incredible economic boost for not only the local economy, but for international businesses as well. Manufacturers and engineers need to assemble and develop products and solutions to make these installations possible. A large industrial workforce is also needed to construct the wind farms. As more renewable energy projects begin to pop up around the world, demand will only increase for the industrial components that make them possible. As these wind farms become more popular, more manufacturers may begin breaking into this emerging market.

Be sure to check back on Manufacturing Talk Radio soon for the latest developments throughout the energy and manufacturing industry. Energy projects on this scale could have a profound impact on the manufacturing industry as a whole. It’ll be important to keep tabs on the latest projects reshaping the world’s energy industry.