As a prelude to the official inauguration of Horns Rev 2 on 17 September 2009, we have asked some of the 50 DONG Energy employees involved in the project what it has been like to work on the Horns Rev 2 project. Martin Donovan, Sub Project Manager – SCADA and Communication What has been the greatest moment for you while working on the project?
"My greatest moment was when the first turbine finally produced the first power and it was established that all communication channels were working perfectly."
Jens Christian Nielsen, Construction Manager What has been the greatest challenge in the project?
"The greatest challenge has been and still is the weather; in 2008 the project was saved by extremely good weather conditions in September. In 2009, the project has been affected by a windy summer so hopefully the turbine installations will be saved by extremely good weather in September this year also. Another great challenge has been to get all parties involved in the project to work together – and across large cultural differences in the various organisations." Jesper Lundgren Madsen, Commissioning Manager What has been the greatest moment for you while working on the project?
"The greatest moment was last autumn, when we installed the accommodation platform on the special designed monopile. It was late October before the installation vessel had completed the installation of the foundations and we had a weather window stable enough for us to sail out and install the accommodation platform. The operation took place from 30 to 31 October and did not involve any large-scale challenges or accidents. This is quite impressive as the operation included several heavy and complicated hoisting tasks and we only had one chance to get it right." Bernd Okkels, Sub Project Manager, Grid Connection What has been the most critical moment in the project for you?
"The most critical moment was when my suppliers was ready to start the cable laying work with both vessels and a crew of several hundred men, and we couldn't get started because the foundations were not ready on time." Allan Due Overbeck, Site and O&M Manager What has surprised you the most when working on the Horns Rev 2 project?
"The most surprising thing was to drive to work in the morning and see how good the weather was – absolutely no wind and completely calm waters at Ho Bugt. But when we looked at Horns Rev 2, we were not able to work due to bad weather conditions." Steen Eriksen, Sub-Project Manager on the accommodation platform What has been the largest challenge?
"The largest challenge has been to obtain the approval of the accommodation module. This is probably because it is the first time ever that an accommodation platform is installed at an offshore wind farm." Ulla Jensen, Project Secretary What has been the largest challenge working as project secretary on the Horns Rev 2 project? "The hardest part has been to spread the project filing culture to the other employees working on the project. " Poul Rasmussen, External Consultant from Niras (since June 2008, responsible for contractual matters regarding Horns Rev 2) What has been the most positive element of the Horns Rev 2 project? "The most positive element has been that DONG Energy employees and external consultants have been given rope by the project manager to work on equal terms, and this has helped give all personnel involved in the project a common sense of ownership in relation to Horns Rev 2." Lars Bie Jensen, Regulatory Coordinator What has been the most exciting aspect of the project? "The most exciting part has been to board the installation vessels and make sure that the work was carried out environmentally correct. The chance to get away from the office and see how everything works in practice is not only exciting, it also helps you do your job better back at the office. If you have seen how things work in real life, it is much easier to relate to and explain to eg authorities how the work is carried out and how the different things link together." Søren Jensen, Safety Manager (QHSE) What has surprised you the most when working on the Horns Rev 2 project? "On the Horns Rev 2 project it has been remarkable to see the positive effects when the whole project (management and project employees) takes a joint responsibility for ensuring a safe workplace as opposed to when safety is only a matter for QHSE employees."
Henrik Mørup Lehmann, Project Manager During 2008 and 2009, DONG Energy has completed the erection of Horns Rev 2 based on a multi- contract strategy comprising several suppliers. This means that one of the most prominent challenges in the project has been to coordinate all the steps and players in the project process.
Project employees are a mixed crowd – with many engineers and technicians – from DONG Energy's offices at Teglholmen in Copenhagen, the head office in Skærbæk and from the two construction sites; at the quayside in Esbjerg and off shore at Horns Rev. In addition to DONG Energy employees, a number of external consultants have been working on the project and most of them have been fulltime employed on the project throughout the whole project period.
What has been the most critical moment in the project for you?
"The most critical moment was the completion of the foundations in 2008. But in spite of a 64-day delay due to the installation vessel and bad weather, we still managed to complete the foundation work in 2008, which meant we were ready to begin erecting turbines in 2009."
What has been the highlight of the project?
"To me the highlight was when I participated in a safety course In the North Sea on a sunny spring day."
What has been the most exciting thing?
"Whether or not we would be able to meet the deadline and complete the wind farm on time, and fortunately it looks as though we will!"
What has been the largest challenge?
"To improve the safety culture – this includes everyone working on the project. Almost 200 people participated in the extra programme "Safety Awareness Training", because safety must be a natural part of the working procedure."
What has been the worst element?
"The very tight schedule."
What has surprised you most?
"That the weather turned out to be our greatest opponent. Despite the fact that the rest of Denmark has enjoyed lovely summer weather we have had many days when it has been impossible to work at Horns Rev due to wind and high waves."
What has been the fun part of the project?
"Definitely the positive atmosphere in the lunch room."
And the best part? "The best part has been to work with all the skilled and lovely people on the project."