The first major offshore wind plant set for completion in German waters, the 240 MW Buntendiek project of 80 Vestas 3 MW turbines off the far north-west coast, says final commissioning is now set for 2006. The developers have chosen to use 50 metre tall monopile foundations supplied by F+Z of Hamburg, a subsidiary of major construction company Bilfinger Berger. Wolfgang Paulsen, director of the Buntendiek development company, says Bilfinger Berger has ordered the construction of a barge big enough to transport at least four turbines to the site at a time. It is to be equipped with cranes and other machinery for ramming the foundations into the sea bed and installing the turbines. Water depths at the North Sea site, 34 kilometres west of the island of Sylt, are 17-20 metres. The project won a construction permit in 2002 and expects to get a cable permit this summer, enabling it to link to E.on Netz's 380 kV network near Flensburg, says the project's Hans Feddersen. The foundations and turbines will be installed in 2005/2006. It is expected to generate about 0.8 TWh/year, enough to meet the needs of about 200,000 homes. Most of the 8400 private investors in the Butendiek wind fund, which is financing the development phase of the project, will probably also provide the equity for a second fund to finance construction and eventually operation, says Feddersen. Of the EUR 400 million construction cost, 25% will be provided as equity. German bank KfW, which administers soft loans to German wind plant development from a government fund, and HSH Nordbank have agreed to lead a bank consortium to finance the remaining 75%.