Offshore owners lining up -- Bard deals with Eneco

Offshore wind farms being developed by Germany's Bard Engineering Group could be sold to Dutch energy supplier Eneco New Energy when built. The two firms have signed a letter of intent to cooperate "in installation and operation of offshore wind stations in Germany and other European countries." Eneco is aiming for renewables to make up 20% of its power sales to customers by 2012 and 66% by 2020. "Offshore wind is likely to play a decisive role," says Andreas Kölling, speaking for Bard.

Eneco already owns a 120 MW offshore operational wind farm off the Dutch coast, now known as Prinses Amaliawindpark. Its original name was Q7. Eneco completed the project last summer. It has also applied to build three further three projects in the North Sea, which are likely to have 80-90 turbines each. These include the Callantsoog Noord project, 30 kilometres off the coast of Den Helder, as well as a project in Belgian waters.

Bard's offshore portfolio would help Eneco achieve its targets. The German firm is moving ahead with its permitted Bard 1 project, located in German waters around 100 kilometres north-west of the island of Borkum, and plans to start installation in the spring. It has lodged applications for seven more offshore wind farms in German waters, each comprising 80 units. Including Bard 1, the German projects amount to some 3.2 GW in capacity. In addition, Bard has also applied to the Dutch authorities to build three further offshore projects, again each comprising 80-90 turbines.

The aim for the German company, says Kölling, is to sell its offshore plant, although it may still operate them and even retain a stake in some. It is talking to other companies beside Eneco, he says: "There is a broad portfolio of interested parties ranging from strategic to financial investors."

Bard also hopes to sell the 5 MW offshore turbine it has designed to Eneco under its agreement, as well as a 6.5 MW turbine currently in development. "Bard is growing dynamically and must keep pace with the market," says Kölling. "This is the next step in turbine size, or it could be even bigger. Talks are underway with component suppliers. Although there is no firm timetable as yet, in the medium term offshore parks are likely to be equipped with the larger turbines."

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