Nexans connects German Wind farm with Record-breaking Cables

Three single-phase 20 kV aluminium cables with a cross section of 1,600 mm² enable low-loss electricity transportation

Hanover (Germany), October 21, 2016 – Husum-based wind energy project developer WKN AG has chosen Nexans’ three single-phase 20 kV aluminium cables for the Westerengel wind farm in Thuringia. The cables have a record-setting metal cross section of 1,600 mm² and are used for the low-loss transport of 23 MW of power from the seven Vestas V112 wind turbines along the 15 km route to the grid connection point.

The cables, which are produced at the Nexans plant in Bourg-en-Bresse (France), have a diameter of 71 mm, including the sheath, and offer maximum economic efficiency to the operator, Hamburg-based investment company CEE Group. A large cable cross section was chosen because of the high operating currents (700 A per cable), and because it is also able to cope with external heat loads which come from other cables on the route.

Iwer Nissen, who supervised the Westerengel project at WKN, reports: “We had also considered a dual route with six single-phase 630 mm² cables for the 15 km route. Although the investment costs would have been similar, this solution would have entailed higher losses of electricity and thus reduced profit. A high-voltage route was uneconomic here, as it would have required a new transformer substation to be built.”

For this project Nexans Power Accessories has provided heat-shrinkable straight joints according to CENELEC HD 629.1 and dedicated IEC-tested GPH® mechanical connectors for 1,600 mm² aluminium conductors.

Windpark Westerengel With an output of 23.1 MW, the Westerengel wind farm is one of the few of this size that are connected to the power grid with 20 kV cables. In order to cope with the high currents and external heat loads, the wind farm is connected to the grid via three single-phase aluminium cables from Nexans with a record-setting cross section of 1,600 mm². (Image: WKN AG, Husum)
Kabel für Windpark Westerengel

With a conductor cross section of 1,600 mm², the 20 kV aluminium cables used to connect the Westerengel wind farm to the grid are the thickest ever to leave the Nexans plant in Bourg-en-Bresse – and probably also the thickest medium-voltage cables installed in all of Europe. (Image: Nexans)

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WKN AG has been planning, installing and operating turnkey wind farms in Germany since 1990. Furthermore, the company is represented on the international stage by subsidiaries and joint ventures in numerous countries in Europe, South Africa and the USA. So far, WKN AG has initiated and implemented projects with a total output of roughly 1,300 megawatts. The head office of the WKN Group is the “Haus der Zukunftsenergien” (House of Future Energy) in Husum, which has established itself as an innovative centre of competence for renewable energy. PNE WIND AG of Cuxhaven holds just over 83 per cent of WKN shares. Roughly 17 per cent are widely spread shareholdings by private and institutional investors.

CEE Group

The CEE Group is an investment company based in Hamburg that specialises in renewable energies and has assets worth EUR 1.2 billion under management. It invests its own capital in energy production projects, primarily in the areas of wind energy and photovoltaics, and in corresponding technology companies. The CEE Group maintains a strategic cooperation with RWE Innogy, focusing on technological participation in young companies. The shares in the CEE Group are held by a small number of institutional investors and family offices based in Germany that have a long-term interest in the market for renewable energies. The CEE Group is managed by Lampe Equity Management GmbH, which is a subsidiary of Bankhaus Lampe KG, and has more than ten years’ experience in the financing of renewable energies. For further information, visit