What is the background for the establishment of Horns Rev 3?
In March 2011 a broad majority of MPs in the Danish parliament voted to erect two large new offshore wind farms: a 400 MW wind farm at Horns Rev in the North Sea and a 600 MW wind farm at Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea. The two offshore wind farms alone will be able to produce enough electricity to meet the demand from around 1 million Danish households.
Why is the wind farm to be located there?
Based on the political decision to establish Horns Rev 3, the Danish Energy Agency determined the location and size of the area, whilst Energinet.dk drew up the plan for the location of the sea-based transformer platform and the routing of the export cables that are led ashore before being connected to the electricity grid. The offshore wind farms at Horns Rev 1 & 2 have already been established in the nautical area west of Blåvands Huk.
Why is Vattenfall constructing the wind farm?
Vattenfall won the competition to establish Horns Rev 3 with a project that will result in the lowest price per kilowatt-hour to date from an offshore wind farm of this size in Denmark. The price per kilowatt-hour will be 77 øre (10,31 Eurocent), which will make Horns Rev 3 one of the cheapest of its kind in Europe.
Can I see the wind farm from the shore?
The 49 wind turbines at Horns Rev 3 will be located at a distance of approx. 20 to 30 km from the coast and will be visible in clear conditions – both day and night. At night, the low-intensity red lights on the top of the wind turbines will be visible in clear weather.
In spite of the considerable height of the wind turbines, with a hub height of some 105 metres and a maximum height of the blade tips of 187 metres, the visual impression will be one of calmness due to the gentle rotation of the blades and will thus be much easier on the eye than the smaller wind turbines in the two existing wind farms in the area, Horns Rev 1 & 2. The Environmental Impact Assessment clearly states that the coastal landscape will not be visually affected negatively to a significant extent.
Can I hear the wind farm from the shore?
You will not be able to hear the wind turbines on the beaches from Blåvands Huk in the south to Nymindegab in the north. This stretch of beach was reviewed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that was conducted prior to the wind farm project being put out to tender.
Will there be visible installations on the shore?
Energinet.dk is responsible for the transport of wind energy from their transformer platform out at sea to the existing transmission network on land, and not much will be visible on land in this regard. From the coast, the current will be led from the export cable through a 45-km-long underground cable to the existing transformer station in Endrup. From Endrup to Holsted, an underground cable will be laid along this 13-km stretch. On the 30-km stretch between Endrup and Revsing a new power line will be hung on the existing row of pylons.
The visible consequences of Horns Rev 3 on land will be the development of the cable station in the dune plantation at Blåbjerg and the extension of the station at Endrup.
What are the benefits of Horns Rev 3 for the local population?
Vattenfall sees itself as a responsible partner in the areas in which we have production of wind power – regardless of whether this is onshore or offshore. By doing business locally wherever possible, we promote the trickle-down effect of economic activities to the local community. In the case of onshore wind farms there are rules governing co-investment for neighbours, as well as considerable subsidies to local activities. The same rules do not apply to offshore wind farms.
As a result of the choice of MHI Vestas wind turbines for Horns Rev 3, the production of the wind turbines will have a major impact on the whole of West Jutland. Generally speaking, Horns Rev 3 will generate a great deal of economic activity, thanks in part to its base in Esbjerg. The same applies to service and maintenance throughout the entire lifetime of the wind farm of at least 20 years.
At the end of the day, Horns Rev 3 will produce renewable green energy for 425,000 households a year, which will bring benefits to us all, as well as making a contribution to Denmark’s goal of transition to green energy.
How productive are the wind turbines?
The wind turbines at Horns Rev 3 are modern and extremely efficient, and we expect them to produce energy between 80 and 90 % of the time. Despite the fact that wind conditions at Horns Rev are excellent, wind strengths do fluctuate. Wind turbines therefore generally produce around 40 % of their maximum capacity, an issue that affects many other types of energy production. Hydropower plants, for example, produce just 30 % of their full capacity, due to the fact that volumes of water are not constant throughout the year. Even at nuclear power plants, production efficiency at its height reaches “only” 75 % of the total capacity.
What effect will the wind farm have on fishing?
According to the EIA report from the Danish Energy Agency, the establishment of Horns Rev 3 will not have any impact on the conditions for the fish living on the seabed, and the foundations of the wind turbines will occupy only a tiny fraction of the total available area for important species of fish such as sand eel, herring and cod.
In connection with the driving down of the mono piles for the 49 wind turbines, there will be a short-lived temporary effect on the fish. Sand eels will not be significantly affected, although the noise will probably briefly drive away herring and cod to distances of up to 15 kilometres from the pile-driving site. Electric and magnetic fields will be formed around the export cables, but their effect on fish is expected to be of little or no consequence.
What does it cost to establish Horns Rev 3?
In 2013, Energinet.dk drew up a budget of around 200 million Euro for the transformer platform out at sea, export cables, leading of the cables ashore and laying of cables on land, in addition to the extension of various land-based transformer stations.
Vattenfall has a budget of around 1 billion Euro for the erection of the 49 wind turbines at Horns Rev.