Sandbank 24 refuses to reduce project size for economic reasons

German company Sandbank 24 -- planning a 3920 MW offshore wind farm by the same name under its mother company, developer Projekt Oldenburg -- is not backing down from its larger-than-allowed pilot plans of 120 turbines. The maximum number approved by federal shipping office Bundesamt für Schifffahrt und Hydrologie (BSH) is 80. This limit is arbitrary, according to Sandbank 24's Heike Kröger. The company argues that project cost is an integral part of its permitting application and Sandbank 24 was deliberately pitched well out to sea to avoid problems. Consequently, it will only make economic sense if 120 turbines are installed, because the plan is to use "small" but tried and tested 3 MW machines and start construction "earlier," rather than wait for larger machines which will not be available until "much later." Kröger says the project had its BSH public hearing back in September and hopes to get a permit by June.

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