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Westereems wind farm



Number of turbines

54 (50 x 3 MW, 2 x 6,15 MW and 2 x 4,5 MW)

Shaft height

98-132 m

Installed capacity

171 MW (since 2020)

Electricity production (in annual consumption of households)


Delivered in

2009, 2012 and 2020


The first part of Westereems wind farm was delivered in 2009 and since then, three subprojects have been completed by RWE. The first phase involved building 52 Enercon E82 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3 megawatts. The construction of the Westereems wind farm enabled the old polder windmill Goliath to be supported. With finance from Essent, the miller’s house has been refurbished and turned into a beautiful venue for meetings. RWE receives groups for wind farm tours here.

In 2012, Westereems Wind Farm gained two test turbines as part of a reference project for a wind farm built by innogy in the North Sea consisting of 48 Senvion M6 turbines, each with a capacity of 6.15 megawatts. Both turbines were constructed using different components wherever possible in order to enable the best technologies for offshore wind farms to be identified onshore.

Two turbines from the wind farm were removed to make room for a helicopter landing spot to be provided for the site. RWE has been given two new positions at the site for these turbines which are to be constructed in 2020. As a result of the redevelopment of this part of the wind farm, Westereems will consist of 50 Enercon E82 turbines, 2 Senvion M6 turbines and two Lagerweij L136 turbines in 2020.

Research effects black blade at wind turbines expanded through collaboration with TNO

"Black-Blade" Study | RWE

RWE is part of the 'Black Blade' study: seven of RWE's wind turbines at Eemshaven have one black blade and two white ones. Since the end of 2021, the province of Groningen and energy company RWE have been commissioning research into whether painting one blade of a wind turbine black helps birds fly safely between wind turbines. Previous research in Norway, on the island of Smøla, showed that painting one blade of a wind turbine black results in 70% fewer bird casualties among certain species of birds. It is being investigated whether this also applies to the situation in the Netherlands, with different bird species and a different landscape. In this study, a hand count is made of how many birds may have flown into a turbine. This provides limited insight into when and how this happened. Also, there is no insight into any differences in bird behaviour around a turbine with a black blade and a turbine without such a black blade. This research is now being extended. TNO's new research does aim to collect data on bird behaviour and thus better understand the effectiveness of the black blade. The results of the studies are also important for future offshore wind farms where manual measurement/counting is not possible.

TNO, together with RWE, province of Groningen and other public and private partners, is thus broadening the ongoing research. This is done by placing sensors, cameras and a radar system in and around the turbines. TNO is using the various sensors to investigate the conditions under which birds fly into a wind turbine and whether a black blade has an effect on bird behaviour. The study with the additional sensors will run for just over a year to monitor different seasons and follows on from the first year in which the possible effects of a black turbine blade have already been examined in other ways.

Planning & partners

The Zwarte Wiek study is expected to run until the winter of 2024/25 and is a partnership between private parties in the wind industry (RWE, Vattenfall, StatKraft, Eneco, Pure Energie and Groningen.NL Energy), various public authorities (Ministry of EZK/LNV, Rijkswaterstaat and the provinces of Groningen, Flevoland, Overijssel, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, Limburg, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland) and the nature sector (Vogelbescherming).

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