Air Freight News

First wind turbine installed at Borkum Riffgrund 3, Germany’s largest offshore wind farm

Jun 20, 2024

The first wind turbine has successfully been installed at the German offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 3. With an installed capacity of 913 MW, it will be the largest offshore wind farm in Germany once in operation. Borkum Riffgrund 3 is also the first offshore wind farm to be awarded without subsidies in the world. This has primarily been made possible by several long-term corporate power purchase agreements (CPPA), which Ørsted has signed with industrial and technology customers. Borkum Riffgrund 3 is jointly owned by Ørsted and Nuveen Infrastructure.

This important milestone for Borkum Riffgrund 3 follows shortly after the successful delivery of first power from the 253 MW Gode Wind 3 Offshore Wind Farm, which Ørsted and Nuveen Infrastructure are constructing simultaneously with Borkum Riffgrund 3. Together, the two offshore wind farms will close to double Ørsted’s total installed capacity in Germany and make an important contribution to Germany’s green transformation. The Borkum Riffgrund 3 offshore wind farm is expected to be commissioned in 2025.

In 2024, Ørsted will be executing on the largest construction pipeline in the company’s history, with a total of approx. 7.6 GW of offshore wind under construction across three continents, including the 2.8 GW Hornsea 3 in the UK, the world’s single largest offshore wind farm. Earlier in May, Ørsted celebrated the successful installation of the first foundation at its 704 MW offshore wind farm Revolution Wind off the US East Coast.

Peter Obling, Head of Continental Europe at Ørsted, said: “Borkum Riffgrund 3 is an icebreaker in offshore wind. It was the first offshore wind project in the world to be awarded on a merchant basis, and it’s the first offshore wind farm in Germany to break the 900 MW-mark. I’m proud to see that the first turbine is now installed, and we look forward to completing this milestone project.”

Jordi Francesch, Managing Director of Renewable Energy Investments at Nuveen Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted that Nuveen Infrastructure is, alongside Ørsted, at the forefront of the decarbonisation of the German Electricity market with the exciting milestone of first turbine being installed in Borkum Riffgrund 3, the largest offshore wind farm once in operation in Germany, which is true testament of our ability to successfully manage large and complex projects that will drive acceleration of energy transition.”

Felix Gschnell, Programme Director for Borkum Riffgrund 3 and Gode Wind 3, said: “We have been developing and building Borkum Riffgrund 3 since winning the auction in 2017 and 2018. Achieving the first installed wind turbine is a great success for the project and a proud moment for the entire team. Our full focus is now on continuing to complete the project safely and on schedule.”

Borkum Riffgrund 3’s first wind turbine was installed by the installation vessel ‘Seaway Ventus’ from Seaway 7. The installation will also be carried out in equal parts by ‘Wind Osprey’ from Cadeler. A total of 83 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, each with a rated capacity of 11 MW, will be installed at the offshore wind farm. Borkum Riffgrund 3 is located approx. 72 km off the coast of Lower Saxony in Germany and covers an area of approx. 75 km².

Decarbonization of the German industry

In the German offshore wind auctions in 2017 and 2018, Ørsted was awarded the rights to build Borkum Riffgrund 3 with bids of EUR 0 per MWh – a first for offshore wind. The long-term power corporate purchase agreements (CPPAs) that Ørsted has entered into with industrial and technology customers are essential for the wind farm’s revenue. Once the offshore wind farm has been commissioned in 2025, an offtake agreements totalling 786 MW have been entered into with Amazon (350 MW), BASF (186 MW), Covestro (100 MW), Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft/REWE Group (100 MW), and Google (50 MW). The contracts range from 10 to 25 years. The agreements create long-term price security both for Ørsted as project developer and for the customers.

New connection concept

Borkum Riffgrund 3 is the first offshore wind farm to be built by Ørsted in Germany without an offshore substation (OSS). The new connection concept provides for a direct connection of the wind turbines via 66 kV connection cables to the DolWin epsilon offshore converter platform operated by the German transmission system operator, TenneT. Parallel to Borkum Riffgrund 3, the installation of the wind turbines for Gode Wind 3 (253 MW) are already underway. Both project sites are located close to Ørsted’s operational offshore wind farms, Borkum Riffgrund 1 and 2 and Gode Wind 1 and 2. The two additional wind farms will almost double Ørsted's installed offshore wind capacity in Germany to approx. 2.5 GW. As with Ørsted's current offshore wind farms, operation and maintenance will be carried out from Norden-Norddeich and Emden in East Frisia in Germany and Eemshaven, Netherlands.

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