600MW Gemini offshore wind farm starts operations in the North Sea

The massive 600-megawatt (MW), 150-turbine Gemini Offshore Wind Park, which has the capacity to power 785,000 households,has commenced operations in the Dutch North Sea.

The US$3 billion wind farm is a collaboration between Canada’s Northland Power, wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord, and waste processing company HVC.

The project, located some 53 miles off the coast of Groningen in the Netherlands, is the largest offshore wind farm built in the country, and the second-largest in the world.

As the EPC contractor for the Gemini, Van Oord began development of the wind farm in 2014, which represents one of the largest EPC contracts in the company’s history.

The challenging project includes 150 4-MW Siemens wind turbines, which cover more than 42 square miles. At full tilt, the wind park has a generating capacity of 600 MW and will power 785,000 Dutch households. Furthermore, it will help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 1.25 metric tons.

Van Oord designed and built all of the foundations: two Offshore High Voltage Stations, one Onshore High Voltage Station, two lines of 62-mile-long Offshore HV-cables and 150 inter-array cables. The construction was completed within its budget and deadline. At the height of the construction, 500 employees were working on the project.

To complete the mission, Van Oord also joined forces with 63 other Dutch companies in a Transition Coalition to encourage the government to implement the agreements reached at the Paris Summit.

Van Oord and the other project partners are also shareholders. Van Oord owns a 10% equity stake, Northland Power Inc. owns 60%, Siemens owns 20%, and HVC owns 10%.