The offshore wind farm Norther started supplying Belgium with electricity from Tuesday. Some 44 wind turbines were connected to the Belgian energy network. The Mayor of Ostende, Bart Tommelein, performed the symbolic ceremony for the connection to the national grid.
By the end of the summer Nother will be the sixth largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The complex comprises 44 wind turbines, with a total production capacity of 8.4 MW. The operation will also be the wind farm furthest from the coast, 23 kilometres off Zeebrugge.
For now, 12 turbines are operational. The first four were connected to the network on Tuesday, using the new Stevin high-voltage connection, commissioned last year by Elia (the electricity generator).
The entire wind farm will supply electricity to nearly 400,000 families. All of the North Sea wind farms combined will thus supply an astonishing 1.4 million households.
“With this project, Belgium is taking an additional significant step to reduce its CO2 emissions. It is an important milestone and a good time to recognise the tireless work of individuals who have been involved in the project,” said Dennis Sanou, the Project Director. Norther is the fruit of the collaboration between Elicio, Eneco (both renewable energy producers) and DGE, a power generator and subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation.
Bart Tommelein was also delighted. “The more we produce renewable energy, the less call we will have upon fossil fuels,” he said. The Mayor also stressed the importance of the offshore economy in the port of Ostende, for construction but equally for operation and maintenance of wind farms. “This provides further proof that renewable energy and the economy can work hand in hand,” he concluded.