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Capacity factors and load-duration curves for Belgian offshore windfarms

Posted by – 2021/03/01

Previously I’ve provided capacity factors for Danish, German and UK offshore windfarms. Now here are the numbers for the larger of the Belgian offshore windfarms. The ones shown here are the only ones I’ve been able to get detailed data for, so far.

Belgian offshore wind

All numbers are to the end of December 2020. Analysis by
Age (y)Installed
elec. gen.
Power per
unit area
spanned (W/m2)
Rolling 12-month
capacity factors
Belwind39.6%37.9%10.11653 2064.7Belwind
Nobelwind46.7%44.1%3.61652 2793.3Nobelwind
Norther45.4%42.7%1.63702 1984.1Norther
Northwester 236.6%0.6219447
Northwind43.9%41.6%6.52164 6016.5Northwind
Rentel41.3%39.0%2.03092 1175.2Rentel
Thorntonbank NE32.9%32.4%7.91592 6374.7Thorntonbank NE
Thorntonbank SW39.5%36.8%7.31753 2985.0Thorntonbank SW
Total42.0%31.4%177820 7824.6

Load duration curves

I’ve constructed for each of the offshore windfarms for which there is sufficient detailed hourly data (this will usually mean at least a year’s worth). Use the pause and play buttons to stop and start the sequential display of curves. Click on the windfarm name in the legend to toggle the display of that farm’s curve.


Note that for each individual windfarm, its curve is based on data starting from the date that the windfarm was fully commissioned, or from 1 Jan 2015, whichever is later: data is only available from 2015 onwards. The windfarm’s age is calculated from the date it was fully commissioned.

The Thornton Bank windfarm was built out in three phases, I-II-III. However, the hourly data is broken down into two groups, SW and NE. As you can see from this map, courtesy of 4COffshore, most of phase II is in the NE section. The SW section contains the rest of phase II, as well as all of phases I and III.

My thanks to Rémi_C2W on Twitter for solving the mystery of the Northwind time-series in the ENTSOE data: he worked out that the reported data is the sum of output from both Northwind and Nobelwind: so the real Northwind output could be calculated by subtracting the reported Nobelwind output from it. ENTSOE have now fixed this, so this transformation is no longer needed.

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Germany’s renewables more than make up for its nuclear phase-out

Posted by – 2020/01/02

NEW updated with data for 2019 too.

Germany has been phasing out its nuclear power, as policy, since 1999. It’s also been expanding its renewable generation. The nuclear phase-out provides the renewables market with a clear, long-term positive signal. As does Germany’s commitment to decarbonisation.

I’ve previously written about German PV and German offshore wind capacity factors, Now, let’s take a look at how quickly the rollout of renewables has happened, relative to the decline of nuclear. The chart below Read more…

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What does the capacity factor of wind mean?

Posted by – 2014/09/29

Harald Pettersen/Statoil, NHD-INFO [CC-BY-2.0]

Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, photo by Harald Pettersen/Statoil, NHD-INFO [CC-BY-2.0]

The capacity factor is the average power generated, divided by the rated peak power. Let’s take a five-megawatt wind turbine. If it produces power at an average of two megawatts, then its capacity factor is 40% (2÷5 = 0.40, i.e. 40%).

To calculate the average power generated, just divide the total electricity generated, by the number of hours.

You can find the capacity factors for Danish offshore wind here; the capacity factors for UK offshore wind are here, and here are the capacity factors for German offshore wind.

You could do an equivalent calculation for a car. Let’s say your car’s top speed is Read more…

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