This page documents the construction progress of our repowering project in the Morbach Energy Landscape using the most recent images and video material.
Documentary Repowering Project Morbach
Since the start of construction in October 2018, film producer Justin Peach has accompanied and documented the construction progress in the Morbach energy landscape. In parallel, interviews were held with project members and the mayor of Morbach about the project and its significance for the community. Now that all turbines are finally on the grid, the documentary has been finalized.. We are proud of what has been achieved in this project and are even more pleased to review the entire construction process with this film.
All new turbines in operation
Exceptionally strong wind conditions at the beginning of the year prevented us from installing the rotor blades at the last turbine and postponed our planned COD date. Finally, this week the last of the seven new wind turbines of the repowering project in the Morbach energy landscape went into operation. Instead of fourteen Vestas V80, which were part of this site 1 ½ years ago, seven Enercon E-141 are now generating clean green power. The new turbines with a hub height of 159 metres produce around 67 million kWh per year.
Within 3 ½ years, wiwi consult has developed the project, led it through the approval procedure and realized it as general contractor. In close coordination with the municipality of Morbach, the project was designed as a “Bürgerenergieprojekt” (public participation model) according to the German Renewable Energy Act. We are proud to have implemented a complex repowering project of this magnitude in such a short time. It has proven to be a good idea to involve the community of Morbach from the very beginning and to develop a concept together with them.
Inspection and approval of the first wind turbines
Last week, the first three wind turbines in the Morbach energy landscape were successfully inspected and approved by the independent technical expert. During the first months on the grid, the wind turbines have already produced 9 million kWh clean green electricity. In the strong wind phase end of November, two of the three Enercon E-141 turbines produced just under 100.000 kWh per day and were thus running almost at full capacity. The commissioning of the remaining turbines is planned for the coming weeks.
Construction work in time-lapse
For a whole year a camera accompanied the construction work at site R07 in the Morbach energy landscape. The first step was the dismantling of the old Vestas V80 turbine and the old foundation in November 2018. With the turn of the year the construction of the new foundation began. The first Enercon E-141 components were delivered in March. Until May, the turbine had grown to the final tower or hub height of 159 metres. Next to it, the pre-assembly of ring generator and nacelle began, which was then mounted on the top steel shot with the aid of a large crane. After installation of the rotor blades and cables, the wind turbine was commissioned at the end of September and is producing clean, green electricity since then.
Continuation of construction works
Due to the weather conditions there were no installation works possible during the past weeks. The wind speed was too strong for the installation of large components, in particular rotor blades. After a longer break the construction now is in progress again. The rotor blades were pre-assembled at the logistics space and then transported to the installation site by a self-propelled transporter. There they are finally pulled by the large crane and mounted to the hub. The drone footage impressively shows the dimensions of the rotor blades and the self-propelled transporter.
First turbines on the grid
The first turbines of our repowering project are commissioned! After turbine R06 was connected to the grid at the end of August and R03 in mid-September, turbine R07 has also been put into operation last Friday. This means that three of the seven new turbines are already producing clean, green electricity. A great number of 1.3 million kilowatt hours are already fed into the grid after one month. The other turbines will gradually be connected and commissioned in the next few weeks.
Reinstallation of the V80 turbines
The reconstruction of three out of the 14 old Morbach V80 turbines is currently underway in Poland. Beforehand, the nacelle and rotor blades have been dismantled separately and transported to Poland. The individual steel tube segments of each tower were disassembled in several pieces and arrived at the new site as well. The turbines get rebuilt and put into operation. That guarantees the ongoing production of clean and green energy outside of Germany.
Construction site BBQ
The construction works at the Morbach Energy Landscape are now continuing for eleven months. Time to thank all workers for their great work and big engagement. Therefore, wiwi consult, together with Enercon, organised a small celebration with perfect weather in honour of all the colleagues involved in the project. With drinks, good food and a nice view to some of the newly installed turbines it could be relaxed for a brief moment. A foodtruck supplied the roughly 100 guests with delicious burger and fries.
Current construction progress
Strong activity at the energy landscape yesterday. The first two rotor blades at site R03 have been installed. At the same time the dismantling of the second last V80 turbine has started. All three rotor blades are already uninstalled. In the next few days the nacelle followed by the tower segments will get dismantled step by step. The concrete foundation will then be completely removed from the ground and the site gets restored to its natural state. The tower construction at site R04 is in progress.
Update from a bird`s eye view
The work at the Morbach Energy Landscape continues to run at full blast. The aerial drone pictures are showing the construction progress. Four large cranes are currently in operation. Lying right next to turbine R03, the rotor blades are ready for installation. The pictures show the impressive dimensions of the each 70.5 meters long rotor blades. The construction of the seventh and last tower at site R04 will soon begin. At the same time, preparation for the dismantling of the last two V80 turbines is underway.
First wind power system completed
The installation of the third rotor blade marks the completion of the assembly of the R06 facility – at least externally. Five months after the beginning of the construction of the tower, the first new system in the Morbach Energy Landscape is almost finished. In the coming weeks, the cabling and interior construction will follow. Once this is done, the wind power system will be able to be put into operation.
Construction work at the other turbines is also in full swing. At the R03 site, the turbine house for the facility is currently undergoing preassembly. As can be seen from the pictures, the logos of the Morbach Energy Landscape and wiwi consult are already gracing the nacelle.
Construction of cable line & delivery of transfer station
In parallel to the installation of the rotor blades, the construction of the cable line has begun. The first cables have been laid as open cables on the route to the feed-in point. At critical points, e.g. the crossing of a brook, the cables have been laid underground using flush drilling. At the end of July, the final metres leading to the transformer station will be installed using a cable plough. After this, the cables will be able to be connected in the substation, which has already been delivered.
Rotor blade installation begins
The installation of the turbine house on the tower of the R06 system is complete. In the meantime, the first two rotor blades have already been installed. These were lifted by the crane, one by one, to the tower’s height of 159 meters and screwed on to the hub. The rotor blades feature little spikes known as serrations. These reduce air vortexes at the trailing edge of the blades, thereby lowering the noise created.
Self-propelled transporters in use
While work on the first wind turbines is already in its final stages, the erection of further concrete towers is beginning in parallel. The video shows a concrete tower half-shell being brought by self-propelled transporters from the logistics area to the R05 site. A self-propelled transporter enables large parts to be manoeuvred in the tightest of spaces. Using this technology, forest clearance which would otherwise be necessary in the Morland Energy Landscape (which is largely wooded) is avoided, and the impact of construction upon the landscape is minimised.
Construction progress from the air
As the current drone photos show, the large crane has now been erected next to the R06 system. The giant crane towers over the concrete tower, which is itself 103 meters in height. Piece by piece, the steel segments and the turbine house will soon be transported to the site and mounted on to the concrete tower by the crane.
Start of the turbine installation
The first towers of the new systems are almost finished. As the next step, four steel segments will be placed on the 103 m high concrete part to bring the final tower/hub height to 159 meters. The turbine house for the R06 turbine is currently being preassembled on the crane platform for the R07 turbine. In parallel to this, the large crane is being built up on the space next to the R06 turbine. As soon as the preassembly of the turbine house is finished, it will be transported using self-propelled transporters from the R07 to the R06 system and then mounted on the highest steel section. The final stage consists of the rotor blades needing to be affixed to the hub.
Wind power as real-life experience
Almost 30 inquisitive primary school pupils from the Gau-Odernheim Primary School in Rhine-Hesse paid a visit to the Morbach Energy Landscape on Tuesday. During the tour instigated by wiwi consult, which took in the approx. 145 ha site in a little over two hours, Michael Grehl from the Morbach municipal authority provided the children with an impression of the utilisation of renewable energy. The mixture of information being conveyed using a real-time example and the patient answers to countless questions were particularly appreciated by the children. The former US ammunition depot is not only home to wind turbines, but also a biogas facility and several photovoltaic systems. The energy landscape is undergoing changes at present. The repowering project for the wind power systems, which is being carried out by wiwi consult, has been underway since October 2018. The 14 existing systems are gradually being dismantled and replaced by seven more modern ones. A particular highlight came when one of the old systems opened its doors at the end of the tour. Following the energy-sapping tour across the energy landscape, the excursion ended – appropriately enough in view of the weather – with a barbeque together.
Two days later, Andreas Hackethal, mayor of the municipality of Morbach, visited the energy landscape with the municipal council. The tour of the construction site was led by Jörn Parplies and Torsten Höllwarth.
Construction of tower for the E-141 begins
Since the end of January, sections for the concrete towers of the new installations have started to be delivered to the site. These are being temporarily stored beside each other on a logistics area next to the biogas facility in the energy landscape until being transported on a just-in-time basis to the wind turbine sites in order to be erected. Following the assembly of the large crane at the site of the R06 turbine, the construction of the tower began last week (CW 7). The individual parts will now be successively placed on top of one another, with the concrete tower eventually reaching a height of around 100 metres. The steel sections creating the final hub height of 159 metres will only be installed shortly before the assembly of the turbine buildings beginning in May.
Demolition and construction in parallel
As the new year begins, a somewhat limited amount of space features both demolition work on the remaining existing structures and fresh construction work being performed in parallel. The destruction of the concrete foundations of the old installations is in the meantime running smoothly and at a faster pace. Using mobile breakers, the material is broken up into smaller sizes at the site and then sustainably reused for the remaining infrastructural work, particularly for the completion of the final crane surfaces for the new installations. Despite the wintry conditions, we are making good progress at the construction site.
Status at the turn of the year
As is common for December, the first limitations have arisen at the construction site as a result of strong winds and temperatures falling below zero. Nevertheless, the work still remains on schedule. Two foundations for the new installations have already been filled and are ready for the construction of the tower. Six of the old installations have been fully demolished and four of the old foundations completely removed from the ground. Work at the construction site will be halted over the Christmas and New Year holidays and will start again in CW 02 in 2019.
Start of construction marked
On 23 November, ground was symbolically broken on the construction project: Mayor Andreas Hackethal and other speakers presented the project to local residents, other parties involved in the project and the assembled media, and officially opened the construction site. The reception afterward provided the chance to exchange opinions and enjoy some interesting conversations.
Demolition work making headway
In perfect weather conditions, the fourth old installation - the most north-eastern wind turbine 14 - has already been demolished. The new R07 wind turbine will be erected in exactly the same position. This site will also be documented with the aid of a time lapse camera: from the old grows the new!
Dismantling of the old concrete foundations
An example of the sustainability of this repowering project: The old foundations are being fully removed from the ground and the sites restored back to nature. The great amount of effort involved can be discerned from the pictures. The material is broken up into small pieces on site and then used to construct the new infrastructure.
Bird’s eye-view video
Videos filmed from drones provide particularly impressive views. Here’s a flight over the northern part of the energy landscape with the district of Morbach lying in the background.
The progress of construction is also being documented from the air: here are the impressive first pictures taken from a drone.
Here we go!
Demolition and construction work are beginning in parallel to each another at the Morbach Energy Landscape: While the initial old facilities are being dismantled, the construction of the foundation for the new R03 turbine is already getting underway.