Straddling waters in the Baltic Sea -- Proposal for 970 MW

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A group of Swedish and German companies is waiting to hear if its proposal to build a huge 970 MW offshore wind station in the Baltic Sea -- in two phases either side of the international border between the two countries -- will get initial approval. German WPD, an established wind finance and project development company, is proposing a 328.6 MW station at Krieger's Flak I in German waters. On the other side of the border in Sweden's exclusive economic zone, WPD and German partner Wind-Projekt have turned over development of Krieger's Flak II to Sweden Offshore Wind, which has a 50% stake in the 640 MW project.

xThe proposal for Krieger's Flak 1, 30 kilometres off the coast of the island of Rügen, is for 80 wind turbines with capacities of 3.5 MW and 5 MW. Krieger's Flak II is for 128, 5 MW turbines to be installed 30 kilometres off the Swedish coast of Trelleborg. The developers do not expect installation to begin until 2008.

xWPD applied to both the Swedish and German authorities for initial site licences in December. The application for Krieger's Flak II is currently winding its way through a third hearing in the notoriously long Swedish permitting process. Achim Berge of Sweden Offshore Wind is confident of a decision by late autumn. Even if approval is given, however, there is currently no way of financing the project until Sweden settles on a long term market framework for wind power, points out Berge. He also argues that getting the power to shore is a government responsibility, not that of the project developer.

xxUndersea transmission

xWPD hopes to link both Krieger's Flak projects as well as its planned 55.7 MW German Baltic 1 project to a single undersea transmission cable running from the Swedish coast to Bentwisch, near the German port of Rostock. The cable would be used not only to bring wind energy to shore but also for cross-border electricity trading, says WPD's Christian Schnibbe. Talks on network issues with the Swedish side are with German-owned energy company Sydkraft, while negotiations on the German side are being dealt by Swedish-owned Vattenfall Europe.

xAnother application for Krieger's Flat, lodged by Swedish Eurowind and for a 200-turbine plant, was returned by the Swedish authorities for amendments. Eurowind has withdrawn the plans.

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