Gemini Offshore Wind Park Celebrates Official Grand Opening
John Brace, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gemini, officially opened the massive offshore wind park today in Eemshaven. With a 600 MW generating capacity, Gemini is one of the largest offshore wind parks in the world. “We successfully completed Gemini ahead of schedule, under budget and with an excellent safety record. Now fully operational, Gemini will produce 2.6 TWh of sustainable energy every year, reducing the Netherlands’ CO2 emissions by 1.25 million tons. We are proud to make this contribution to the realisation of the Netherlands’ sustainability targets,” said Matthais Haag, Managing Director of Gemini.
To celebrate the grand opening, a special dome tent was erected, in which a 360-degree video allowed visitors to imagine themselves taking a tour of Gemini’s wind turbines as they rotate 85 kilometres away in the North Sea. The 360-degree video can also be viewed on Vimeo.
At the event, Mayor Marijke van Beek of the Municipality of Eemsmond accepted a cheque for 10,000 euros on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM). The Wadden Sea Association was also presented with a cheque for 10,000 euros. Matthias Haag: “We worked closely with the Wadden Sea Association in order to lay a cable in the vulnerable Natura 2000 area while respecting the natural environment. And throughout construction, had there been any type of emergency, we could have called on the KNRM for assistance straight away. We’re extremely
grateful to both organisations for their support.”
Over the next fifteen years Gemini will meet the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers. This is equivalent to the combined energy needs of all the citizens of the Netherlands’ three Northern provinces. The reduction in CO2 emissions is comparable to the emissions of 50,000 cars that each drive 25,000 kilometres a year. An app to continuously track Gemini’s offshore wind speed, the amount of energy produced, and the total CO2 reduction was introduced at the grand opening event and is available for free download.
Gemini marks a turning point in the way we think about wind energy. The project’s magnitude has contributed to a rapid transformation of the sector. Today, the construction of offshore wind parks is more efficient and cost-effective than ever, and as a result there has been a significant reduction in the price of this potent renewable energy source.
Gemini is invisible from land, located 85 kilometres off the coast of Groningen, in the North Sea. This location has some of the highest and most constant wind speeds in the North Sea, with an average wind speed of 36 kilometres per hour. Gemini covers an area of 68 square kilometres, and is comprised of 150 Siemens wind turbines with a capacity of 4.0MW each, as well as two offshore high-voltage substations. Each substation is connected by to the land station in Eemshaven by a 110-kilometre export cable. There, the electricity is converted to 380Kv and conveyed to the TenneT power station. Management and maintenance headquarters will be located in Eemshaven, and will create 75-100 permanent jobs.
Four companies combined forces to make Gemini possible: Northland Power (60% interest), Siemens (20%), Van Oord (10%) and HVC (10%). The construction of the wind park required an investment of 2.8 billion euros. The project was financed by 25 banks from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. To date, Gemini is the largest project financing for an offshore wind park.