Wind Goes Big And Tall To Power Port Operator

Eurogate, which runs a big container terminal at the Port of Hamburg, in Germany, has taken a unique step toward driving down its costs and carbon emissions: It installed a wind turbine. A very big turbine on a ridiculously tall tower.

With a rotor height of 141 meters (462 feet) and turbine blades that are 58.5 meters (192 feet) long, the Nordex N117/2400 turbine can put out 2.4 megawatts of power, is expected to yield 8.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year and if all goes expected will help Eurogate avoid 4,600 tonnes/year of C02 emissions.

The Port of Hamburg goes big with wind (image via Eurogate)

The Port of Hamburg goes big with wind (image via Eurogate)

It’s not the first turbine ever to go up at a port – the picture above of the Eurogate turbine shows that – but it’s as tall and big as they come and Eurogate said this is the first time a terminal operator has installed its own turbine to meet its own energy needs.

The turbine is a hedge against anticipated increases in the price of electricity, one of several green moves the company said it is undertaking:

By operating its own wind turbine, Eurogate is as far as possible freeing itself of its dependence on current price developments in the power and energy markets. In order to lower energy costs, we are pursuing a two-pronged strategy: energy generation and energy consumption. For years we have been producing energy using photovoltaic systems, CHP plants or wood chip plants. We also began systematically recording our energy consumption some years ago and taking appropriate action to reduce it. Take diesel consumption of large-scale equipment, for example. We have already come a long way towards achieving our target to utilise 20% less energy per container and to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020.

According to Nordex, the turbine model chosen by Eurogate is one especially suited to low-wind sites – often the case for urban areas where buildings and other things can disrupt the free flow of wind. It has a cut-in speed of 6.7 miles per hour, a hub height about as high as anyone goes and a gargantuan rotor sweep of 10,715 square meters. That explains the expected 40-plus percent capacity factor.

“Obviously, there is not enough space at the port for large wind farms but we do have a lot of experience in installing turbines in built-up industrial regions,” Jürgen Zeschky, CEO of the turbine manufacturer said in a statement.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Pilot1095

    At the expense of birds. Humans are a blight on this planet.

  • Alec Sevins

    This is far better than sticking such huge structures in rural areas. These towers should be built as close to cities as possible where they can blend in with other skyscrapers..