Germany’s Offshore Windpark Dream Morphs Into Nightmare

  • Date: 12/09/14
  • P Gosselin, No Trick Zone

In the mad rush to green energy, investors and politicians leaped before they looked. Now the investors are moaning loudly about the hard landing that is coming soon. 

The print 35/2014 edition of Spiegel magazine focuses on the growing failure of Germany’s first ambitious offshore wind energy project, BARD Offshore 1, which aims to be a model for the world in providing clean, green energy on a large scale.

Bard Offshore windpark

BARD 1 windpark spooks the entire German offshore wind industry, plagued by major technical problems with no end in sight. Photo: Bard.

So far things hardly could have gotten any worse technically, and now financially and legally. For Germany, a highly admired nation when it comes to science, engineering, and technical prowess, the large scale energy project threatens to morph into an embarrassment of monumental dimensions. See more background here and here.

Fried electrical filters

The trouble surrounds the BARD 1 offshore windpark in the North Sea. Originally the park had been officially opened last year in August, but had to shut down almost immediately because of technical faults.

Then in March, 2014, engineers tried once again to bring the massive windpark online, again they were met with failure as “wild current” fried filters an offshore electrical converter station after a just a few mere hours.

Today, 6 months later, it appears engineers are not any closer to finding a solution.

Lost power valued at 340 million euros

The print edition of Spiegel writes that engineers are still scrambling to sort out the technical problems involved in bringing power from 80 turbines 100 km offshore through a converter station, and then onshore to markets. The project has now been delayed more than one year and Spiegel estimates that the lost power generation could be as high as 340 million euros in value.

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