All Hiddum-Houw turbines removed

On 9 March, the last of 10 old wind turbines that had been part of the Hiddum-Houw Wind Farm since 1995 was removed. The turbines make way for the new Nij Hiddum-Houw wind farm. The repowering project, with an installed capacity of almost 42 MW, is scheduled to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2022.

Nij Hiddum-Houw is a repowering project whereby the wind turbines of the Hiddum-Houw wind farm and a number of solitary turbines in the area are replaced by 9 modern, more powerful turbines. The new turbines are supplied by German turbine manufacturer Enercon and are of the type E136, with a hub height of 109 meters, a tip height of 177 meters and a rotor diameter of 136 meters. The 4.65 MW turbines replace the old 500 kW Vestas turbines.

Second Life

The old Hiddum-Houw wind farm was already disconnected from the grid and now all old turbines have also been removed. Some of the wind turbines will be given a second life in Ireland, either completely reinstalled or the components being reused. During the months of April and May, the old foundations and park cabling will also be removed. The remaining solitary turbines in the area will be removed within 18 months of the first new turbine being commissioned.

Initiators

The project is an initiative of Vattenfall and local Gooyum-Houw B.V. Vattenfall is responsible for 4 wind turbines and Gooyum-Houw B.V. for the remaining 5. Both parties will operate these wind turbines separately. Vattenfall is investigating the possibilities of selling its part of the wind farm after completion.

Ventolines has been contracted for the construction supervision and organization during the project for both Vattenfall and Gooyum-Houw B.V.

Timeline

The repowering project received the final permit in 2018. Financial Close was reached in December 2020, marking at the same time the start of the preparatory work on site, such as the construction of the crane hardstands. These activities were carried out by the Jansma-Westra combination. They are also responsible for the construction of the roads, dams, culverts, park cabling and power stations. These activities currently take place and will run until August this year. When the new turbines are in place, Jansma-Westra will also take care of the civil delivery of the park.

Foundations & turbine construction

Construction of the foundations will take place from August to December. This is carried out by Enercon. When the first foundations are ready in October, Enercon can start building the turbines. This construction phase will continue until August 2022. This period appears to last for a relatively long time: approximately 10 months. This is due to the fact that each tower is made up of different segments. These must be assembled on location. The advantage of working with segments however is that they are easier to transport.

Transport

The transport of the components to the construction site is made to order so that no on-site storage is required. With the transport it is taken into account that the large transport does not go through the small village centers. For the supply of the blades and the generator, a separate exit is made from the N31.

The turbines are connected to a substation. There will be one for each part of the project. The stations are also connected to each other. An export cable route runs from the substation over a route of approximately 17 kilometers to the Liander transformer station in Herbaijum. A controlled drilling under the A7 highway is required for this purpose.

Obstacle lighting
Due to the height of the turbines, over 150 meters, it is mandatory to install obstacle lighting on the wind turbines. The initiators are currently in talks with the province of Fryslân and Windpark Fryslân B.V., which is currently building a wind farm in the IJsselmeer, about the possibilities of jointly setting up a radar installation on Kornwerderzand. This means that the lights would be activated only when air traffic is approaching a certain distance. This is, however, not definite. For example, permission from the necessary authorities must be obtained and there are some technical aspects that must be taken into account, such as the frequency. Finally, the financial part must also be organized.

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