“WestWind” erects 14 wind turbines in the Bruchhagen-Nendorf area
Press article | DIE HARKE
dated 15.01.2020 84-million-euro wind farm under construction
BY SEBASTIAN SCHWAKE
BRUCHHAGEN. The approval process took four years, the construction of the14 wind turbines in the Bruchhagen-Nendorf wind farm should be completed by the middle of next year: Last Friday, the preparatory construction measures for the wind farm began. The investor “WestWind” from Kirchdorf is investing about 84 million euros in the park. The Bruchhagen-Nendorf wind farm will be built on land in the Steyerberg district and in the Mittelweser joint municipality (municipality of Stolzenau) and is an extension to the existing Mensinghausen wind farm in the Uchte district. The turbines to be built are of the Enercon E-126 type and cost around six million euros per wind turbine. These are four-megawatt turbines with a hub height of 135 meters, a rotor diameter of 126 meters and a total height of 198 meters. One turbine is expected to generate around 8.9 million kilowatt hours per year. This would correspond to the CO2 footprint of about 11000 inhabitants at about eight tons per person per year. In total, “WestWind” expects the entire wind farm to generate about 124.3 million kilowatt hours per year. The construction of a new substation in Hoysinghausen is necessary to feed the electricity into the grid. “We are currently in the approval phase for this. We expect approval in February or March,” says “WestWind” project manager Andre Meyer. The substation is then to be built and connected to the grid in September/October. In April, road construction and thus the development of the wind farm is to begin. The first wind turbines of the new wind farm are also to be commissioned during this period. The aim of “WestWind” is to erect up to seven turbines this year and also to connect them to the grid. The remaining turbines are scheduled to go into operation in the first and second quarters of 2021. Gravelled roads will be created for the construction of the turbines so that trucks and later heavy transports can also reach the sites without any problems. During the construction phase, the company expects around 5,000 truck trips – 2,500 empty trips and 2,500 full trips.
The surrounding residents are also to participate from the facilities. “We are planning to involve the citizens in a plant with a savings bond model,” says Meyer. One option, he says, is for them to subscribe to shares in the park. “WestWind” also plans not to operate all the turbines itself. There is also interest from landowners in taking over a wind turbine, he says. In addition, the Steyerberg district also wants to get into the wind power business and operate a turbine. Meyer praises the cooperation with the participating municipalities and the district. Because the Steyerberg district and the Mittelweser joint municipality have drawn up and approved the relevant development plans, Section 30 of the German Building Code applies to “WestWind” – the investor is thus legally permitted to build. An impressive four years passed from the application to the approval. On August 3, 2015, the Kirchdorf-based company had submitted the application for the construction of the wind farm to the district as the approval authority: at that time still with wind turbines of the type Enercon E-115 with a total height of 206.85 meters.
“These wind turbines were the measure of all things at the time,” Meyer looks back. But they were too high for the area, because the wind farm extends into the entry area of the Bundeswehr airfield in Wunstorf. The Bundeswehr then informed Meyer that wind turbines could be erected there in principle, but that they would have to be smaller than 200 meters so that they would not interfere with air traffic. So new turbines were planned and the tower was replaced so that the wind turbines would remain below 200 meters. Delays were also caused by extensive surveys of harrier, eagle owl and ortolan occurrences in the planned wind farm area. “Extensive mapping was necessary for this,” Meyer explains. The company had done a lot for nature conservation: among other things, three nesting aids for the eagle owl in the “Neue Weide” forest area, clutch protection (protection of breeding territories) and about 35 hectares of compensation areas for eagle owls, Montagu’s harriers, ortolans, quail, resting and visiting birds, including cranes, geese and swans. Because “WestWind” had not received approval for the wind farm from the district by the end of 2016, the company looked around for a new turbine type in consultation with the district and, after a good further year of deliberation, ultimately decided on the E-126. On May 4, 2018, “WestWind” finally resubmitted the revised application to the district administration. At the beginning of October of the previous year, the immission control permit was issued.