Storm at Sea Ciara: wind turbines kept rotating


Throughout Sunday, electricity was produced in the Belgian North Sea, but due to circumstances not at the maximum production of 1550 MW.

The smallest wind turbines have automatically shut themselves down. The more recent and larger wind turbines were able to cope with higher wind speeds and kept running. At the request of some electricity suppliers, some wind turbines were also shut down preventively in order to maintain the balance of the electricity grid.

Electricity production at sea amounted on average to 1100MW on Sunday, or about 70% of the maximum capacity.

The impact of the storm on the offshore wind farms started around 10:45, about 2 hours later than predicted by Elia, and ended around 21:30.

At the peak moment of the storm, around 19:30, 443 MW was still being produced at sea. Wind speeds at that time were up to 135km per hour. About 30% of the capacity could therefore continue to produce. During the storm at sea (from 10:45 to 21:30) the average capacity of offshore wind energy was 740MW or about half of the capacity.

This Sunday, offshore wind generation contributed to 12.2% of the electricity demand in Belgium. Wind energy as a whole (including onshore wind energy) contributed to 25% of the total electricity demand in Belgium.

The entire offshore wind farm never came to a complete standstill and the impact was better than predicted by Elia thanks to the latest wind wind turbines, which are able to keep running at extreme wind speeds.