Pioneering performance in the North Sea: The offshore wind farm Global Tech I

Global Tech I is one of the first offshore wind farms which has been built in the German North Sea. Comprised of 80 wind turbines – each with a capacity of 5 megawatts – the wind farm has an installed total capacity of 400 megawatts. This provides usable electricity generated from environmentally friendly wind energy amounting to more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours per year. The roughly 41 square kilometre area of Global Tech I is located approximately 140 kilometres northwest of Emden in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), outside marine protection areas. Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) granted its approval for the 80 wind turbines and the associated transformer station as early as 2006. Simply calculated, Global Tech I is able to supply renewable energy for 445,000 households, each with an average power demand of 3,130 kilowatt-hours per year. The annual savings of CO2 amount to 1.2 million tonnes compared to traditional coal-fired power stations.

To ensure the wind farm operates smoothly, the offshore substation within the wind farm is manned by 37 persons who work closely together with the operations control centre in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The operations control centre is responsible for marine surveillance and all parameters of the wind farm. Moreover, these include control of the wind farm’s internal cable network and the massive transformers that convert the generated electricity from 33 to 155 kilovolts. And all this is performed by the click of a mouse from the heart of Hamburg. The operations centre is also responsible for all communications involved in direct marketing of the generated power and with the grid operator. Due to the great distance of the wind farm from the coast, the offshore substation serves as the logistical base for service and maintenance teams. The substation can be compared to a self-sufficient small town, with all the necessary amenities such as fresh and waste water treatment, a hotel operation, a hospital with paramedics and telemedicine devices as well its own “fire brigade” and a helicopter landing pad complete with refuelling station.

Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH is the project company that has constructed and is now operating the offshore wind farm Global Tech I. The company's shareholders are the two energy suppliers Stadtwerke München GmbH, ENTEGA AG (Darmstadt), the Swiss company Axpo International S.A. and the Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH. Further shareholders are the two project development companies Norderland Projekt GmbH and Windreich as well as FC Wind 1 GmbH, FC Wind 2 GmbH, GTU I GmbH and GTU II GmbH (information according to the excerpt from the commercial register, 31.7.2013).