German offshore process inches along -- Approvals now for 600 MW

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Two German offshore projects for a combined maximum of 300 MW have won site permits for locations within the 12 nautical mile economic zone. Each now awaits final authorisation regarding technical requirements and sub-sea cables.

The first project, Sky 2000, is planned for a site in the Bay of Lübeck on the Baltic Sea coast. It is within the state territorial waters of Schleswig-Holstein. The developer, 1. Schleswig-Holstein Offshore Windpark Verwaltung (1. Show), has permission for 50 turbines of up to 3 MW each as well as a test station for five prototype machines of up to 5 MW each. Power generated will be fed into Vattenfall Europe's transmission network at the port of Rostock.

The 1. Show company is a collaboration of E.on Energy Projects (50%), Geo Gesellschaft für Energie und Ökologie of Enge-Sande (20%), and other investors (30%). E.on Energy Projects, a subsidiary of German power giant E.on Energie, has an option to own and operate around 80% of the planned station and has agreed to shoulder the investment risk of the whole project. The remaining shares will be offered up to small investors in a closed-end wind fund. E.on Energy Projects issued supply tenders last summer. Work could begin at the end of 2004.

The second project, developed by German Energiekontor, has won a permit from the regional government of Lüneburg for a site 30 kilometres north of the port of Wilhelmshaven in the North Sea. The Nordergründe station's maximum size limit allows for 25 turbines, each with a capacity of up to 5 MW. E.on operates a large coal fired power station at Wilhelmshaven, where the wind power will be brought to shore via a sea cable. The project is likely to be financed through a large investor plus a private, closed-end wind fund, according to Energiekontor, which hopes to begin building before the end of 2006. Suppliers have not yet been chosen.

In the pipeline

Meantime, Eos Offshore has applied to federal shipping office Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH) for a permit for a 119-turbine offshore plant. The application follows 18 months of preparatory environmental and other investigations at a site 80 kilometres north of Borkum island in the North Sea.

The company's Mark Schneider hopes the BSH will issue a building permit by summer for the EUR 1.3 billion project, expected to have an installed capacity of 550 MW and annual electricity generation of 2.4 TWh. Eos Offshore is jointly owned by German wind developers Innovent and WPD. While financing is still being discussed, WPD claims that having so far financed 57 wind projects for a combined total of EUR 600 million it has plenty of experience in the field.

In all, there are now 24 German offshore wind projects planned in the North Sea outside the 12 nautical mile zone, totalling an astounding 64 GW. Another four projects, for a combined 477 MW, are under development within the zone. Six offshore wind plant for 3475 MW are planned in the Baltic Sea outside the 12 nautical mile zone and another four projects for149 MW within the zone.

The latest two approvals in the Baltic Sea and North Sea bring the number of projects with building permits to four, for a combined installed capacity of 600 MW. The two other approved projects are for the North Sea, the 60 MW Borkum West and the 240 MW Butendiek "people's project" (Windpower Monthly, July 2003).

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