Technical Problems …Two More Huge German Offshore Wind Parks Cut Off From Grid!

Good thing Germany still has reliable sources of energy, such coal and nuclear power, online. Otherwise the citizens would find themselves sitting in the dark and seeing their food spoiling away in fridges and freezers.

Bard Offshore windpark

Turbines over troubled waters. Photo right: Bard

More reports are out that Germany’s string of problems surrounding its ambitious installation of offshore wind parks has been extended once again.

North German online news site (NWZ) reports there is “no longer a connection” to two North Sea windparks due to “a faulty transmission cable”.

According to the NWZ, the 135-kilometer Dolwin 2 cable runs from the North Sea to the North German coast and ends in the Emsland town of Dörpen. Engineers suspect the fault is somewhere onshore.

Dolwin 2 cable delivers power from wind parks Godewind 1 and 2, which are operated by Danish energy company Dong. The two wind parks comprise 97 wind turbines and have a rated capacity of 582 megawatts, the NWZ reports.

According to NWZ, grid operator Tennet blames Swedish engineering giant and cable manufacturer ABB for the problems. Currently ABB has not been able to identify the source of the problem and the power interruption is expected to cost (consumers) millions.

The BARD 1 debacle

Dolwin 2 is hardly the only debacle that has plagued the German offshore wind industry. Another embarrassment was the BARD 1 offshore wind park, which was planned to deliver power to Germany in early 2014, but because of a series of major engineering faults, the wind park did not deliver power until one and half years later – in October 2015. Read here and here.

So great were the losses at BARD 1 that a bank was forced to take over the project. The project ended up costing 3 billion euros and was much more expensive than anticipated.

Riffgat’s half-year outage

Also giant wind park Riffgat stopped delivering power late last year – also a faulty transmission cable. Read here. There’s no news from the Riffgat site on whether or not the park has been returned online. The site has not issued a press release in over 2 years.

The online OZI here reported as of April 27, 2016: “Still no power coming from Riffgat“. However, just days ago – after more than half a year of being shut down – Riffgat hobbled back online.

It seems the wind industry has been busier repairing offshore wind parks than operating them.


24 responses to “Technical Problems …Two More Huge German Offshore Wind Parks Cut Off From Grid!”

  1. ClimateOtter

    Sod: could you explain to us how Bard 1 is saving Germans lots of money on their energy bills? Thank you.

    1. Akatsukami

      It should be obvious; when there’s no electricity, you don’t have to pay much for it.

      1. DirkH

        True. In the upside down world of EU/SPD/CDU central planners, less production means more wealth – because the production destroys consumer’s money.

        It’s high time we run’em out of town.

        1. yonason

          no chickens = no eggs :0]

  2. John F. Hultquist

    Prior reporting about stalled turbines claims fuel is hauled to each tower so the blades can be rotated. Is this the case for these 97 towers? Who pays for these on-going activities? Will there be legal proceedings far into the future?
    So many questions.

    1. DirkH

      IIRC, a 1 Kommissarencent per kWh fee goes into a slush fund for the operative risk of offshore wind operators. The entire Global Warming theft should be 6.5 cents currently so that would amount to approx 5 bn EUR a year for the risk of offshore hardware breakage.

      1. DirkH

        If you want to make an omlet, you gotta break 31 billion eggs a year, or about 100 million eggs a day.

        1. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

          But where’s the omelet?

  3. Doug Proctor

    Startup or teething problems like this would not be a scandal if the science, engineering and economics weren’t said to be settled, determined and competitive.

  4. Doug Proctor

    Startup or teething problems like this would not be a scandal if the science, engineering and economics weren’t said to be settled, determined and competitive.

  5. Leonard Lane

    Apparently hard lessons like this are not accepted in Germany. Once the renewable program was started they are reluctant to admit failure and accept the fact that renewable energy sources (except hydroelectric)must be replaced by proven energy production technologies.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    Interesting that cable faults seem to be emerging as an issue. Our state of Tasmania was cut off from the mainland grid due to failure of the Basslink subsea interconnector, which has just recently been repaired. It took most of a year to find and repair the fault, during which time electricity restrictions were in force – because the state has a high number of wind turbines, but insufficient backup. They relied on the interconnector to the Victorian coal fired power stations. So when the cable failed they were in trouble whenever the wind wasn’t blowing and the hydroelectric generators couldn’t make up the difference.

    The state government brought in something like 200 large diesel generators to keep the lights on during the long emergency.

    The interesting thought is that Denmark and the UK both heavily rely on interconnectors. If one of their cables fail that could be quite serious given their large wind energy sectors.

    1. Pawel of Warsaw

      Bruce of Newcastle: Would you kindly provide a quotable source for Tasmania troubles? Poland has accepted that rural folks do not want to live in the shadow of land wind plants (we now have mandatory Bavarian setbacks of 10 x H), but the government still appears ready to spend billions on offshore farms.

      1. ClimateOtter

        Here’s one but the source is biased towards renewables

        Here’s another

        And I found quite a few from idiots crying ‘MORE renewables!’

        1. Analitik

          Also some recent articles here

      2. Bruce of Newcastle

        Pawel – I’ll post two links below, so if you don’t immediately see them Pierre may have to recover the comment from spam.

        One of the significant aspects was that the Tasmanian electricity company ran down their hydroelectric dam levels because it was economically attractive to sell ‘renewable’ energy to the mainland. So when the cable failed they were caught out without enough hydro backup. The two articles cover the timeline and causes leading up to the failure.

      3. Bruce of Newcastle

        This is from an Australian politics and economics blog I visit:

        Cross Post: Marcus – Tasmania’s Energy Scandal

        This one is from the Energy Matters blog:

        The Tasmanian “energy crisis”

        I don’t know if they are relevant to your needs but have a lot of technical detail about the events.

  7. ClimateOtter

    *blinks* I posted a comment with two links and it doesn’t even appear in moderation. Was that something not allowed here?

  8. Jan_Vermeer

    What a mess.
    For your information the Electricity Transmission Company TenneT is 100 % Dutch State owned and operates in The Netherlands and Germany. ,

  9. sod

    will we see a post about every technical problem in a coal or nuclear plant soon?

    1. DirkH

      Why? They’re not eating our money – they PRODUCE value.

      1. yonason

        For greenies, that is the main problem.

    2. Analitik

      will we see a post about every technical problem in a coal or nuclear plant soon?

      We already do on renewables sites – Craig Morris is more than willing to post up news about Watts Bar 2 shutdowns while that newly completed plant goes through its commissioning.

      The difference is that nuclear and coal plants produce reliable continuous power once repairs/adjustments are completed

  10. Timo Soren

    The end of the article has an underlined “OZI here reported ” which appears to be a link is not.

    And later in the sentence “back online” is a link but to the OZI here reported in April.

    So the link to Riffgat online is missing and the link to OZI is in the wrong spot.

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