With the world's largest operating offshore wind farm online and another of equal size on the way this year, companies involved in Danish offshore wind power are feeling the watchful gaze of this whole new sector of the wind industry. The 160 MW Horns Rev demonstration project, consisting of 80 Vestas 2 MW wind turbines, was installed by late summer last year and switched on in mid December, a month behind schedule as a result of technical problems. Owned by utility Elsam, is the first sizeable offshore installation in non-sheltered waters,
Only weeks later, a smaller 23 MW offshore wind plant of Bonus 2.2 MW turbines went online off the island of Samsø. It is a community owned project (Windpower Monthly, February 2003). Meanwhile, Elsam is conducting offshore prototype testing with the installation of four 3 MW turbine from different manufacturers just outside the harbour of Frederikshavn in north-west Denmark. The first is to be installed this year (Windpower Monthly, February 2003). And down south off Lolland island, crews are currently at work to get the 160 MW Nysted demonstration plant online by October 1 (Windpower Monthly, September 2002).
Horns Rev and Nysted are among five offshore projects that the government had originally ordered be built by the country's utilities. On the heels of electricity market privatisation, however, the final three projects are no longer part of the government program and are expected to be put out to international tender. Regulations for the offshore wind power market are still being discussed (Windpower Monthly, December 2002).
No new offshore wind plant came online last year in Sweden, Denmark's neighbour, but plans are progressing for at least five plant. Eurowind's Lillgrund project for the Öresund, the strait between Denmark and Sweden, is in final stages of approval, with construction slated to begin in 2004. Other active players include a Nordex consortium (with ABB and Göteborg Energi), NEG Micon, developers Airicole and utility Vattenfall.