The 400MW Merkur offshore wind farm, located 50km from the coast in the German Exclusive Economic Zone, has successfully achieved financial close. Mott MacDonald acted as independent technical advisor to GE Energy Financial Services in support of their equity financing.
The project will comprise 66 GE Haliade 150-6.0MW wind turbine generators to be installed on monopiles and transition pieces. An inter-array cable grid made up of twelve strings will connect the turbines to a central offshore substation, where the voltage will be increased from 33kV to 115kV. The wind farm will then connect with the Dorpen-West onshore substation through 320kV export cables, including roughly 75km of offshore and 90km onshore underground cables. Once operational, the wind farm will produce approximately 1,585 GWh of renewable electricity per year, enough to power around 500,000 households.
Mott MacDonald performed a holistic technical, environmental and social review of the project in order to identify any completion or operation risks. This included assessing the technical capabilities of each party involved in the project, analysing construction management and execution, a comprehensive design appraisal and reviewing the project schedule, agreements and financial model, as well as social, environmental and permitting. Where risks were acknowledged, the consultancy assessed proposed mitigation strategies to reduce the project’s risk profile and provided suggestions for additional mitigation where appropriate.
Christos Kolliatsas, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Our review identified a number of technical, schedule and financial obligations and potential risks. These included environmental monitoring responsibilities and technical and schedule constraints to protect marine mammals from underwater noise emitted during pile driving activities.”
Merkur is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2018.