The rapid technological development of wind energy makes it possible: In Saxony-Anhalt, 50 wind turbines are being replaced by 16 modern turbines in the Elster wind farm. By replacing older systems with more powerful ones, so-called repowering, the result is six times as much clean energy being produced as before. With a total output of 105.4 megawatts (MW), the park is one of the largest repowering projects in Europe and is Siemens Gamesa’s largest onshore project in Germany to date.

The SG 6.6-155 turbines of the Siemens Gamesa 5.X platform will be installed at a hub height of 165 metres. Each individual turbine delivers 6.6 MW of power so that the wind farm will generate around 235 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually and provide around 150,000 people with clean, affordable, locally produced energy.

In the Elster wind farm, a so-called “Split Scope” concept is being developed by Siemens Gamesa and the
Max Bögl Wind AG for use. “For this national lighthouse project, we decided to deviate from our usual purchasing process and instead rely on an innovative new concept,” says Thomas Winkler, Managing Director of the planning and construction company VSB Neue Energien Deutschland GmbH. “In this scenario, we commission the project partners separately: Siemens Gamesa for SG 6.6-155 turbines and Max Bögl Wind AG for the construction of the foundations and the concrete tower. With this combination, we can significantly increase the profitability of the repowering project,” Winkler continues.

“We are pleased that we can continue the successful cooperation model with Siemens Gamesa in order to support project developers such as VSB in the profitability of their projects and thus jointly advance the expansion of climate-neutral energy solutions,” emphasises Josef Knitl, CEO of Max Bögl Wind AG. “In-house sustainable and modern concrete technologies are used to manufacture the hybrid tower. By using concrete aggregate, we reduce the CO2 emissions of our concrete by up to 40 percent and improve the footprint compared to alternative tower concepts.”

Christian Essiger, head of Siemens Gamesa’s onshore business in Germany, says: “We are pleased that VSB has placed its trust in Siemens Gamesa systems for the first time in Germany. With the powerful SG 6.6-155, we are setting new standards in electricity production costs and annual energy yield. Together with VSB and Max Bögl Wind AG, with the Elster project we can make an important contribution to protecting the climate and ensuring a secure and affordable energy supply”.

Sustainable solutions for clean energy
The annual saving in CO2 emissions compared to conventional power supply amounts to around 180,000 tons. This roughly corresponds to the annual emissions of 86,000 mid-range cars driving 12,000 kilometres.

Siemens Gamesa has calculated the ecological balance of the SG 6.6-155 based on a 25-year service life in a European model wind farm. Accordingly, a wind turbine will deliver 48 times more energy than is consumed by production, installation and operation. At the end of its service life, it can be recycled up to 89 percent. Siemens Gamesa aims to increase this quota to 100 percent by 2040 at the latest.

The dismantling of the old systems has already begun at the Elster wind farm. The first areas could be used for agriculture again. The repowering reduces the area of ​​the wind farm that is used by 30 percent. The distance to the nearest settlement will increase from the current 600 metres to at least 1,000 metres. The first construction work to set up the new systems will begin in spring 2023. Installation of the systems will begin at the beginning of 2024, and commissioning is planned for the third quarter of the 2024 calendar year. Siemens Gamesa will service the systems as part of a twenty-year full maintenance contract. 

Image source: Courtesy of Siemens Gamesa

Read more Wind energy news here