February 2020 was a record month for wind energy in the Belgian North Sea :
- 804 GWh production (nb: measured at the Elia grid connection point) ;
- This corresponds to the annual consumption of 230,000 households (at 3,500 kWh/year/family) ;
This absolute record of offshore wind power production is due to :
1/ A higher installed capacity:
- The installed capacity has been increased this month by 60 MW, from 1556 to 1616 MW; this increase is due to the commissioning of the first wind turbines of Northwester 2 ;
- Compared to February 2019, installed capacity increased by 430 MW, or 36.5% (370 MW for Norther and 60 MW for Northwester 2).
2/ A record month in terms of wind conditions :
- The average capacity factor in February 2020 was 74%.
- The previous record was 70% in December 2015.
- Over the last 5 years, the average capacity factor for February was 53%.
- With a capacity factor of 53%, a production of 570 GWh can be expected – production in February was therefore approximately 40% higher this year than expected according to the five-year average.
Definition of capacity factor:
Energy produced (in MWh) divided by the installed capacity (in MW) and divided by the number of hours in the month (i.e. 24 hours * 29 days for February).
The capacity factor is the percentage of electricity produced in relation to what a wind farm could produce at maximum capacity if the wind farm operated at full capacity for the whole month.