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The world’s largest wind turbine, the REpower 5M, was officially inaugurated earlier this week in the presence of around 600 guests.
The automatic operation of the turbine was started by the German Federal Minister for the Environment, Jürgen Trittin, together with Dr. Bernd Rohwer, the Schleswig-Holstein Minister for Economic Affairs, and Dr. Volker Hauff, President of the German Council for Sustainable Development and former Federal Minister of Research and Technology.
During the event, Talisman Energy, coordinator of the EU-supported “DOWNVInD”-project confirmed their intention to propose to the European commission the use of two REpower 5M turbines on the demonstrator project 25 km off the coast of Scotland in the UK. It is expected that the contract will be concluded in the new few weeks. In addition, a cooperation agreement was concluded with BARD Engineering GmbH to implement the BARD Offshore I project.
During the starting of the turbine, Talisman Energy, coordinator of the EU-supported “DOWNVInD”-project confirmed their intention to propose to the European commission the use of two REpower 5M turbines on the demonstrator project: “We’ve selected REpower Systems AG as supplier for the DOWNVInD project because we are convinced by the company’s technological expertise,” said Project Director Allan MacAskill during the inauguration festivities. The DOWNVInD offshore demonstrator project shall be erected 25 kilometres off the east coast of Scotland at a depth of forty four metres in summer 2006. It is planned to conclude the final contract in the new few weeks.
In addition, a cooperation agreement was concluded with BARD Engineering GmbH as part of the development of the BARD Offshore I project in the German part of the North Sea. It is expected that planning permission shall be awarded for this wind farm next year.
“”We’re proud of the way our engineers and installers have successfully realized these new dimensions,”” Vahrenholt said. “”With our 5M technology, we will be able to produce power at competitive prices, particularly at offshore wind farms.””
The machine has the capability of generating approximately17 GWh of power a year, which could supply 4,500 people in the region with electricity.
The turbine’s LM Glasfibre 61.5 meter rotor blades – also the largest of their kind in the world – are constructed of a glass and carbon fibre hybrid-fabric that is held together with synthetic resins. REpower said the materials contributed to significant weight reductions for the blades. Each blade is equipped with its own electrical pitch system.
Winds as low as 3.5 m/s will disengage the electromagnetic disc brakes and the turbine should have peak performance during winds of 13 m/s. Winds of 25 m/s or more will cause the turbine to cut-out.
The nacelle was designed with a helicopter platform on the roof for ease of access in off shore applications, which the turbine was designed for. During prototype testing, however, the 5M will remain on-shore.
REpower worked on the 5M project with LM Glasfibre, Offshore Wind Technologie and the Center for Renewable Energy Sources. Funding came from the European Commission’s Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development program; and the European Regional Development Fund through the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
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