MHI Vestas has installed the first turbine at the 370MW Norther offshore wind farm, which is located off the coast of Belgium.
MHI Vestas has installed V164-8.4 MW at the Norther offshore wind farm, which is the company’s fourth project in the country.
The company said: “The first V164-8.4 MW turbine has now been put into place in Belgian waters, representing a noteworthy step forward for offshore wind efficiency in the market compared to previous 3.3 MW installations.”
Upon commissioning, the wind farm could generate nearly 1,394GWh of clean electricity annually, which will be sufficient to power nearly 400,000 Belgian households. The total investment required to build the offshore wind farm is estimated to nearly $1.3bn.
The project is expected to create nearly 1400 full-time equivalent direct jobs and an additional 1,400 indirect jobs.
Financial close for the project was achieved in 2016. A consortium of ten financial institutions agreed to provide €900m in non-recourse debt.
The financing included a €438m ($473m) loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB), half of which is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EIB loan was estimated to cover 40% of the total cost of the project.
MHI Vestas chief operations officer, Flemming Ougaard said: “For MHI Vestas, Norther represents several notable milestones. Not only are we celebrating our 4th project in Belgium and the safe installation of the first V164 turbine in Belgian waters, but in a few days we also look forward to installing our 200th V164 globally.”
Norther offshore wind farm will have a total of 44 turbines and is located in the Belgian North Sea, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Belgium. It is situated 23km from the Belgian port of Zeebruges. The offshore wind farm will be spread over 44km² in water depth between 16m and 33m.
Shareholders of the wind farm include Elicio, a Belgian renewable energy producer with 50%, Eneco, a Dutch producer and supplier of renewable electricity, natural gas and heat, with 25% and Diamond Generating Europe owning the remaining 25% stake.