The 80 turbine Nördlicher Grund offshore wind project in the German North Sea has been granted a construction permit for a site 84 kilometres west of the island of Sylt and 108 kilometres north-west of Helgoland. It is the 11th offshore wind project to be permitted by the federal shipping office, which has given the go-ahead to a combined capacity of about 3450 MW of power. The shipping office, however, is only one of several permitting hurdles. Ten projects are planned for the North Sea and one for the Baltic Sea. Construction has not yet begun on any of the projects. Altogether, 31 offshore projects are under development outside the German 12 nautical-mile zone in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The final permitting hurdle for the pilot phase of Nördlicher Grund is permission for the cable route, expected towards the end of last year. The construction permit is valid for 25 years. but is cancelled if building work does not begin before 2008. The project developers, Renergys and Geo Gesellschaft für Energie und Ökologie, hope to commission the project in 2008. Plans for a second phase of the project, currently pitched at 322 turbines, must be submitted no later than two years after the pilot phase has been fully commissioned. Geo has another 400 MW project, named Dan Tysk, under development in the North Sea. It was permitted last August and is planning a 25 MW demonstration project named Geofree in the Baltic Sea.
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