Fast track for new offshore project -- Great Belt bridge

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In lightning tempo, Vestas is to install seven 3 MW offshore turbines in the Great Belt separating the two halves of Denmark in time for them to be online when the UN climate change conference kicks off in Copenhagen in December. The project is to have a highly visible location. The machines have been ordered by Sund & Bælt, the state company responsible for running the Great Belt Bridge, an 18 kilometre train and road link between the western and eastern halves of Denmark. More than 11 million vehicles pass across the bridge each year, many on their way between Germany and northern Scandinavia. The turbines will be lined up parallel to the bridge on its northern side.

The project has also been permitted at speed. Sund & Bælt was given permission for exploratory research at the site in July last year, submitted its application to install the turbines in September and was granted permission to proceed on December 29. The turbines are to be in operation in November. They will be installed in depths of six to 16 metres, 450 metres apart. During construction of the bridge, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, a 60 kV spare cable was laid between the mainland to the west and the island of Sprogø in the middle of the Great Belt, which the bridge crosses. Electricity from the turbines will feed into this cable. An environmental assessment of the site concluded the turbines will not represent a danger for birds or mammals. The Great Belt has a large porpoise population.

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