Horns Rev runs into generator

6 April 2005

Operator Elsam is hoping to have all 80 turbines at its Horns Rev offshore wind farm up and running by the autumn following several months of repairs dealing with defective transformers and generators. For some time there have been technical problems with the V80 2MW-rated turbines at the site, causing them to run at below design output, which made operation of the site impossible to sustain. Twenty turbines are currently down for repairs; the remaining sixty will be assessed and repaired during the remainder of the summer.

The problem first became apparent at the end of last year when problems arose with the transformers, and later it was discovered that a large number of generators incorporated apparent production defects. Elsam has a contractual agreement with Vestas covering reliability, so the current difficulties will have only limited consequences for the operator.

Manufacturer Vestas has acknowledged the problems and is making a vigorous effort to get the wind turbines working satisfactorily. Current status of the work is that most transformers have now been replaced. However the harsh conditions in the North Sea have impeded repairs and Vestas is considering whether it would be appropriate to dismantle all nacelles and bring them ashore to work on their generators under optimum conditions. It is not known at present whether the defects reside in the ABB-manufactured transformers and generators or in a misapplication of the components offshore.

Such problems have not occurred before with these turbines, but the service history of the 2 MW versions, especially under offshore conditions, is not yet very extensive.

•Vestas has received orders for 35 V80 2.0 MW turbines via its wholly owned subsidiary, Italian Wind Technology Srl.

The turnkey orders, which have a combined value to Vestas of approximately r70 million, have been placed by a joint venture between the Italian developer Fri-EL GreenPower and companies of the EDF group.

The contracts cover turbines, a monitoring system, transport, erection and commissioning, as well as electrical and civil infrastructure.

The turbines are to be installed in 2004 and 2005. The two resulting wind farms will have a combined capacity of 70 MW and are located near the borders of the Basilicata and Campania regions, in southern Italy.

Fri-EL GreenPower, located in Bolzano, is a wind project developer whose main activities are concentrated in Italian windfarms and in 17 hydroelectric power stations.

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