The Nordex Group has successfully completed the first part of the Dutch 300 MW Wieringermeer project for its customer Vattenfall.
The last 50 N117/3600 turbines were linked to the grid in August.
Relevant challenges were raised by the position of the project – not to mention the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next step, with another 32 N117/3600 turbines, is already under construction.
Situated 60 kilometers north of Amsterdam, the site boasts excellent wind conditions. Wieringermeer, however, is a polder, i.e. a dense area of reclaimed land seven meters below sea level. The town, measuring 300 square kilometers in size, is crossed by canals and also includes a protected forest, making it a particular challenge in terms of logistics and construction.
Due to the lack of sufficient storage space available, the Nordex Group provided towers, nacelles, trains and hubs as and when necessary. The turbines came in seven different versions of the nacelle. It was therefore also necessary to supply the right turbine to the appropriate venue.
Due to the low ground load capacity, the foundations had to be piled up and raised by 1,5 meters to prevent flooding. In addition, rare bird breeding regulations set limits on the access and activity of certain turbines and the number of cranes permitted on the construction site.
The specific requirements of this project have forced Nordex Group to modify its processes. For example, a token-based permitting system ensured that it was possible to reliably assign multiple construction teams to specific turbines. This approach avoided work scope conflicts and maximized efficiency.
In addition, new functions such as the Technical Project Manager (TPM) have been implemented to act as an interface to engineering and other technical departments. At the same time, quality and documentation managers, as well as a strong HSE team, were deployed on site to meet Vattenfall’s own high standards.
“We attach key importance to flexibility. These adjustments show that we understand our customers’ requirements and the challenges they face. Some of these new processes are already being incorporated successfully in other major utility scale projects.”José Luis Blanco, CEO Nordex.
At the height of the operations, eight large cranes and more than 120 workers worked on the construction site at any given time.
In order to ensure that this large number of people were able to work safely on site despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nordex Group hired a Dutch paramedic in addition to implementing general travel restrictions and hygiene measures.
Their job was to monitor the temperature of all the workers at the site every day before they began their duties and to provide medical advice if anyone had any symptoms.