Sustainable Energy

Vast offshore wind farm opens in North Sea after $3 billion backing


One of the world's largest offshore wind parks is now officially open.

Located 85 kilometers off the coast of the Netherlands, the Gemini Offshore Wind Park has a 600 megawatt (MW) generating capacity, covers 68 square kilometers and is made up of 150 Siemens wind turbines.

In a news release on Monday, the managing director of Gemini said the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

"Now fully operational, Gemini will produce 2.6 TWh (terawatt-hours) of sustainable energy every year, reducing the Netherlands' CO2 emissions by 1.25 million tons," Matthais Haag added.

Gemini added that the project would meet the energy needs of 1.5 million consumers over the next 15 years. Gemini is made up of four businesses: Northland Power, which was a 60 percent interest; Siemens, which has a 20 percent interest; and Van Oord and HVC. The project was backed by an investment of 2.8 billion euros ($3.05 billion).

Offshore wind is becoming an important part of Europe's energy mix. According to WindEurope, 2016 saw work carried out on 18 offshore wind farms in Europe, with four "utility-scale" projects completed. Along with Germany, the Netherlands is a leader in the offshore wind market.