Another huge offshore plan

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Wind developer Energiekontor is on the way to securing a third offshore site in the German North Sea after signing a co-operation contract with OAM-DEME, a German venture with Belgian offshore specialists Dredging, Environmental and Maritime Engineering. The Weisse Bank site, 80 kilometres north-west of Helgoland and 60 kilometres west of Sylt island, is earmarked for a 600 MW plant using 3.5 to 5 MW turbines over an area of 35 square kilometres. It is forecast to generate 3.2 TWh annually, enough for 760,000 homes.

First though, consent must be forthcoming from federal shipping office Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrografie (BSH). Once BSH accepts projects for processing, the developer secures exclusive rights to the location. If all goes well, construction at Weisse Bank is slated for 2005.

Under Germany's renewable energy law, offshore projects must be on-line by end 2006 to benefit from nine years of premium payments of DEM 0.178/kWh.

OAM-DEME already has rights to dredge for sand and gravel at the site. It also has a similar co-operation deal with German wind developer Umweltkontor over another of its dredging sites in the Baltic Sea at Adlergrund (Windpower Monthly, December 2000).

Energiekontor, which has invested DEM 450 million in installation of 188 MW of wind turbines onshore, is otherwise planning offshore projects of 1800 MW and 200 MW in the North Sea, as well as a 70 MW development in the Irish sea.

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