One of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world has just started turning in the North Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. Hidden over the horizon, the Gemini wind farm isn't visible from the mainland or the neighboring islands, and is set to produce about 2.6 TWh of electricity every year.
Situated 85 km (53 miles) north of the coast of Groningen, the Gemini wind farm is made up of 150 turbines spread out across 68 sq km (26 sq mi). The spot was chosen because not only is it out of sight and out of mind for Netherlands residents, but the wind speeds in the area are consistently high, averaging about 36 km/h (22 mph). With a capacity of 600 MW, Gemini is the second largest offshore wind farm in the world, behind only the London Array.
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The electricity generated by Gemini's turbines is collected into two nearby substations before being piped 110 km (68 miles) to the Eemshaven seaport. There, a land station will manage and maintain the entire facility, and the power is then fed into the country's grid. Over the course of a few decades, the Gemini wind farm will apparently supply up to 1.5 million residents with power, and reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by about 1.25 million tonnes (1.38 million tons) every year.
The project took more than two years to complete, with Van Oord and Siemens contracted to do the majority of construction.
"We have built the wind farm within the scheduled time, within budget and in a safe manner," says Matthias Haag, CEO of Gemini. "Gemini thus makes an important contribution to the sustainability of the Netherlands."
The Gemini wind farm can be seen in action in the 360-degree video below.