On the very newest part of the Netherlands, Maasvlakte 2, Eneco is building a 116-megawatt wind farm on behalf of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management. No less than 22 innovative onshore wind turbines will soon generate 416 GWh of green electricity annually. On the beach, the turbines are ready and so Kooi's UFOs are also gradually withdrawing from the project after work has been done.
It was exciting for a while, but in the end, Vestas' builders were able to deliver their work on the beach just before storm season. Site manager Niels Kuiper is therefore a happy man. "We had to be off the seawall by October. You are not allowed to come onto the beach with large equipment then. That is dangerous because of the autumn storms. But it worked out. Now we are safely working on the seawall."
Construction of the 22 wind turbines started in June. Before that, the beach had to be surfaced and a foundation created for the heavy cranes. Now there are 12 turbines on offshore piles, one on a normal foundation and nine on a concrete foundation on the seawall. The height of the turbines also varies: from 104 meters on the hard embankment to 76 meters offshore. On the beach, 3 UFOs with power boxes watched over the turbines under construction. As soon as another turbine was ready, a UFO moved along to the next one. Kuiper: "The UFOs secure our construction huts, storage containers and tool containers. Not only to prevent theft but also vandalism. Main components like the rotor blades regularly get sprayed with graffiti. We have prevented that too with this."
The UFOs have so far managed to prevent some theft. "Previously, we sometimes used cameras without alarms. Then we would see that there was suspicious action but as soon as we arrived on site the equipment had already been stolen," Niels says. "With the 24/7 monitoring by the Kooi Alarm Center as well as the alarm, things are going well now. People have been spotted regularly but after the alarm, they quickly run off."
The cameras still guard the turbines under construction inside the dykes. "If something happens we always get a report. We then see that people have been spotted and sent off the site. But an added value is also Kooi's service. If something goes wrong, it is resolved quickly. You are completely unburdened and don't have to worry about it yourself. And the less you get from it, the better it works." When all 22 turbines will be running at full power, not only 152,000 households and the Rotterdam port area will benefit. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management also hopes to be energy-neutral with the proceeds as early as 2023.
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