VSB Elster wind farm: Construction begins on one of Europe’s largest repowering projects
/ Dresden/Zahna-Elster/Jessen / 04.05.2023
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the Elster Repowering wind farm took place today in the presence of Professor Armin Willingmann, Minister for Science, Energy, Climate Protection and the Environment of Saxony-Anhalt. Project developer VSB has thus realised one of the largest repowering projects in Europe: 50 outdated wind turbines will be replaced by 16 modern, more efficient ones.
Using less than two-thirds of the original area, the energy yield will increase sixfold. The Elster Repowering wind farm will have a capacity of 105.6 MW and generate around 235 GWh per year – enough to supply 67,000 three-person households with renewable energy.
“With the Elster Repowering project, we are proud to help shape the transformation process towards a sustainable European energy landscape. This landmark project demonstrates our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and creating value in the region. By using the latest technology and adhering to the highest environmental standards, we are not only increasing the efficiency and performance of the wind farm, but also creating a better future for our planet,” says Frédéric Lanoë, CEO of the VSB Group.
Thomas Winkler, Managing Director of the company VSB Neue Energien Deutschland GmbH, which is responsible for the planning and construction, adds: “By repowering the Elster wind farm, we are taking it into a future-oriented era of energy production. We are delighted that we can not only make a sustainable contribution to the energy transition, but also give a big piece back to nature by reducing land use.”
After several years of planning and approval, as well as the dismantling of the 50 old turbines, the construction work will now begin with the excavation of the building pits, followed by the construction of the foundations by the hybrid tower constructor Max Bögl, probably in the third quarter of 2023. The first concrete tower segments will be erected in autumn 2023, followed by steel tower segments manufactured by Siemens Gamesa. The first turbines are planned to be installed in the first quarter of 2024 and the repowered wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of that year.
“The Elster project demonstrates the immense value of repowering as a means of not only increasing renewable energy capacity, but also revitalizing existing infrastructure to build a greener future. The project implemented by VSB Group reflects Partners Group’s broader focus and commitment to invest in next-generation sustainable infrastructure solutions and deliver positive stakeholder impact over the long term," said David Daum, Managing Director Private Infrastructure Europe, of Partners Group; Board Member at VSB Group. Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, is the majority shareholder of VSB Group. The firm acquired VSB Group in 2020 on behalf of its clients.
The repowering of the Elster wind farm comes at a crucial time for the European wind industry. With a significant proportion of wind turbines reaching the end of their useful life by 2030, repowering initiatives such as the Elster wind farm project will play a vital role in achieving regional and global climate change targets.