Two down and thirty to go -- German offshore approval

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A second German offshore wind station has received approval for construction in the North Sea from Bundesamt für Seeschiffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH), the federal authority in Germany responsible for maritime matters. BSH authorised installation of 80 turbines, each with a capacity of at least 3 MW, for installation at Butendiek, a site lying 34 kilometres west of Sylt island where the water depth is 20 metres.

The EUR 400 million project is being developed by Bürger-Windpark Butendiek of Husum, a company backed by 8400 mainly local investors. The company expects to start work in 2004 so the station can be commissioned in 2006. The BSH permit will expire if construction has not begun by June 2005.

The project now awaits permits for the sea cable route to shore and for the electricity grid connection to the E.on Netz network at Böxlund before construction can begin. The cable route requires special authorisation to traverse the Wattenmeer National Park, which stretches down the North Sea coast of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

BSH gave its first authorisation to offshore wind farm plans in November 2001, when Prokon Nord was given the go-ahead to install 12 turbines of up to 5 MW in size some 45 kilometres from the North Sea island of Borkum. Prokon Nord plans to begin installation later this year, though no other details have been announced.

BSH has another 30 applications for permits for offshore stations, of which 24 are in the North Sea and six in the Baltic Sea. These add up to a capacity exceeding 60,000 MW.

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