Vying to reach the finish line first are four commercial projects all being developed by German companies: Energiekontor's 90 MW near-shore Nordergründe project in the North Sea; the 400 MW Bard Offshore 1 project by Russian-backed Bard Group using its own turbines; Wetfeet Offshore, Windenergy's 400 MW Global Tech 1; and EnBW Systeme Infrastruktur Support's 50 MW Baltic 1 project in the Baltic Sea.
Bad weather was blamed for the delay of the Alpha Vestus launch, stopping installation of tripod foundations for the six Multibrid 5 MW turbines at the site and stalling the laying of undersea cables. Multibrid also says that Alpha Ventus' status as a pilot project is slowing progress, with particular complexities arising from control by multiple institutional supporters. Developer DOTI is a joint venture set up by German utilities EWE and E.ON Climate & Renewables, as well as Sweden's Vattenfall Europe. Repower is supplying the project's other six, 5 MW machines.
Compared with last year's gloom, the outlook is somewhat sunnier for 2009. Turbine delivery for the Nordergründe project, to use 18 Repower 5 MW machines, is scheduled for 2009 with commissioning due in 2010 or 2011. Bard Engineering says it is well advanced with its Bard Offshore 1 project using 80 Bard 5 MW turbines, around 100 kilometres north-west of Borkum. The project is permitted and the company plans to start installation this spring. Wetfeet Offshore, too, expects to start construction in 2009 of 80, 5 MW turbines at its Global Tech 1 project, to be completed in two phases by 2013. The connection to shore will be by a cable link already under construction by transmission system operator E.ON Netz. And in early 2009, Vattenfall Europe Baltic Offshore Grid ordered equipment and components totalling EUR 100 million for the offshore and onshore cable to link Baltic 1.
Offshore wind projects currently passing through Germany's permitting process total 43.4 GW. Energy agency Deutsche Energieagentur (DENA) lists 70 projects in the North Sea alone, either awaiting or having received approval. Twenty, totalling 15.5 GW, have approval, with 50 others totalling 20.3 GW in the approval process. Nine additional projects in the permitting phase are not included in the public figures and one project, Borkum West 2, is listed as pending approval though it was in fact approved in 2008. In the Baltic Sea, six projects totalling 2 GW have approval, while another six totalling 5.6 GW are waiting for a decision.