A developer and manufacturer

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Bard Engineering, a shadowy player on the wind industry scene to date, lifted the veil on its plans to become not only an offshore wind turbine supplier but also an offshore project developer too when it put in an appearance at the European Wind Energy Association's Offshore 2007 conference and exhibition in Berlin last month (main story).

The north German company is backed by the financial clout of owner Arngolt Bekker, a former executive board member at Russian gas company Gasprom. He has moved out of retirement to build a vertically integrated offshore wind power supply company single-handed.

Sidestepping most hardware, logistics and infrastructure bottleneck issues, Bard is manufacturing its own offshore turbines, blades, and foundations and has ordered its own installation vessel from a Lithuanian shipyard. The vessel will be ready for use in March 2009.

Two prototypes

The company expects to be building 100 of its 5 MW turbines a year from 2010/2011, managing director Heiko Ross told the Berlin conference. Two prototypes of the Bard 5 MW, designed by German wind power technology consultancy Aerodyn Energiesysteme (Windpower Monthly, June 2007), have recently been installed at Rysumer Nacken near Emden. A third will be placed in the waters of the Jade estuary using Bard's own foundation design next year.

Bard is also the sole developer of the first offshore project in which the Bard 5 MW wind turbine will be deployed. In April last year, it won a permit for installation of 80 Bard 5 MW machines as part of the planned Borkum 2 offshore wind cluster, to be built in the German North Sea 90 kilometres north of the island of Borkum (Windpower Monthly, November 2007).

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