Two Baltic Sea projects refused permits over nature reasons

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Two offshore wind projects in the German region of the Baltic Sea have been refused construction permits because they are slated for sites in nature protection areas. The first, Pommersche Bucht, by Winkra Energie -- a subsidiary of Dutch utility Essent -- was planned for a site lying in a European bird protection area. According to the federal environment ministry, this area is an ideal resting, moulting, feeding ground and winter quarters for birds, especially various types of duck. The second, Adlergrund, under development by the now insolvent Umweltkontor, lies in a proposed flora-fauna habitat protection area valued for its sandbanks and reefs, says the ministry. The initial pilot phases of both projects would have totalled 115 turbines. Environment minister Jürgen Trittin greets the decisions by the federal shipping office, Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, because they fall in line with the recommendation from the ministry's own nature protection office. Trittin points out that the office had underlined the significance of the nature protection areas early on in the permitting process and informed the companies that the sites were, in principle, unsuitable for installation of turbines.

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