Germany

Germany

First Baltic Sea permit issued -- Now with cable approval too

The German federal shipping office has issued the country's first offshore wind farm permit for the Baltic Sea. The 80 turbine, 328.6 MW plant is the first of a German-Swedish pair at Krieger's Flak, 30 kilometres north of Rügen Island in waters 20-40 metres deep. Its developer is German project finance and wind development company WPD. The second project, 640 MW, is being developed in Swedish waters by WPD subsidiary Sweden Offshore Wind (Windpower Monthly, April 2005).

The approval marks the conclusion of an exhaustive four year planning process that has centred on the safety of shipping lanes and the environment. The partners hope to start construction off the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2007.

The decision by the shipping office, Bundesamt for Schifffahrt und Hydrologie (BSH), bundles site construction authorisation with the go-ahead for the cable route through the exclusive economic zone to the 12 nautical-mile boundary. The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state ministry for labour and construction also approved the cable route through the 12 nautical mile zone to shore at Bentwisch near Rostock in February. The two types of permits were previously granted in separate procedures.

WPD plans to use 45, 3.5 MW turbines plus 35, 5 MW units in the EUR 700 million project. Turbines of 5 MW are not yet commercially available. The permit is annulled if construction work does not begin by November 2007. Various financing models are being considered, according to WPD's subsidiary Offshore Ostsee Wind (OOW).

OOW is owned in equal shares by WPD and engineering company Wind-Projekt Ingenieur und Projektentwicklungsgesellschaft, which is developing the wind station. The group is also developing the 51 MW Baltic 1 offshore plant, also in the Baltic Sea but within the 12 nautical mile zone.

"With the permission to build the German part of Kriegers Flak, wind power at the site will become a reality," says Sweden Offshore Wind's Achim Berge. "We hope the Swedish authorities will take the chance to see the potential and make our project at Kriegers Flak possible. The large ports and industries in Skåne are very interested in the Swedish project and government wants to press hard for renewable energy. Now is their chance."

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