As the fifth wind turbine in the North sea begins its production, wind turbines along the Belgian coast are now producing electricity for a million homes, said Friday the Belgian Offshore Platform, a structure that brings together major partners investing in Belgian North sea wind turbines.
This fifth park, called Rentel, is two-thirds operational. “The total offshore wind capacity in Belgian seas is as high as 1,119 megawatts (MW), which corresponds to a yearly electricity production of 4,030 gigawatt hours (GWh). The number of households being supplied with electricity coming from the North Sea has thus passed the one million mark. By way of comparison, Belgium has 4.8 million households,” observes the Belgium Offshore Platform.
“And during the next three years, three wind turbine farms with improved turbines will be added, which will double the capacity,” promises Annemie Vermeylen, Secretary General of the organization.
While the current wind turbine farms (C-Power, Belwind, Northwind, Nobelwind and Rentel) total 274 wind turbines with a capacity of 1,186 MW, the parks being developed and built (Norther, Northwester 2 and Seamade) will have 125 wind turbines with a capacity of 1,081 MW.
The Belgian Offshore Platform further underlines that the growth of the wind turbine sector should allow to generate, between 2010 and 2030, “between 15,000 and 16,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, in Belgium, Europe and abroad.’’
In order to celebrate “a huge step in the development of offshore wind energy,” the Belgian Offshore Platform (BOP) had 15,000 paper windmills placed on the Ostend beach last Friday, which, together, formed the number “one million.’’ “This action aims to raise the general public’s awareness of offshore wind energy. Considering that wind turbine farms are positioned far from the coast, few people realize that we already produce a huge amount of green electricity in the Belgian North Sea,” concludes Annemie Vermeylen, all while insisting that 85% of the population is in favor of offshore energy.