RWE says that the construction of the Thornton Bank 2 offshore wind farm is on schedule following installation of the facility’s first turbine foundation.

The German utility is the largest private shareholder in the 295 MW wind farm project, which is being built off the coast of Belgium and which is the largest project financed offshore wind power project in Europe.

According to RWE, the 50 m-high, 550 ton steel jacket foundation was placed on top of its foundation pile 30 km off the Belgian coast towards the end of June. Developer of the wind farm, C-Power, is planning to install all 25 foundations for the wind farm’s first phase this summer.

“We are well on schedule with the Thornton Bank project. The logistics chain is working extremely well and it allowed us to complete the preparations of the underwater construction site and the positioning of the foundation piles in the past few weeks as planned,” said Prof. Martin Skiba, head of Offshore Wind Power at RWE Innogy.

“Unless the weather thwarts our plans, the coming weeks and months will not only see the completion of the foundation work but also the wiring for the wind turbines and for the offshore substation.”

Thornton Bank 2 is being developed in two phases that together will see the installation of 48 Repower 6.15 MW wind turbines. Thornton Bank 1, with a capacity of 35 MW, has been operating since 2009 with an availability of 97 per cent.

A total of eight European commercial banks – strengthened with the participation of the European Investment Bank and the German and Danish export credit agencies – are providing around €900 million of funding and risk sharing for the construction of the wind farm. RWE Innogy is the largest private shareholder in this offshore wind power project, owning 26.7 per cent.

C-Power will sell the output from Thornton Bank 2 to Dutch RWE subsidiary Essent for 15 years.