World’s highest wind farm goes online

Green electricity is now flowing from the world’s highest wind power plant in Gaildorf, Germany. A total of four turbines with hub heights of 155m to 178m were erected by Max Bögl Wind AG on the ridge near Gaildorf.

“We are proud to be able to make an important step towards the success of the energy turnaround and to reduce CO2 emissions with this milestone,” Max Bögl Wind AG CEO Josef Knitl said.

It took just over 18 months since the first cut of the spade until the first kilowatt hour of wind power fed into the grid. Each year, the four turbines will generate more than 10GWh of electricity each – enough for 10,000 four-person households.

But the construction of the wind power towers and the connection to the power grid are only part of the overall project. At the end of 2018, the water battery – the so-called ‘Naturstromspeicher’ (natural energy storage) Gaildorf – will go online. This is a flexible short-term storage, consisting of pools in the tower foundations of wind turbines, a pumped storage power plant and a lower basin in the valley. If required, additional 70MWh can be fed in and contribute to grid stability. The storage concept operates extremely flexible and can switch between electricity production and storage within 30 seconds, thus enabling a short-term adjustment to the needs of the electricity market.

Gaildorf Mayor Frank Zimmermann reviewed the last few years at the event: “In 2012, I got in contact with the project for the first time. It soon became clear to me: something new is being developed here, something unique so far. The use of wind power paired with state-of-the-art pumped storage technology as another important short-term storage for a successful energy turnaround – a convincing concept for me. During the entire planning and construction phase, the great added value of the natural-energy storage for man and nature was worked out with good and provable arguments and communicated transparently to the public.”