A consortium of companies planning a 600 MW offshore wind station in the Baltic Sea plans to test a "swimming foundation" prototype in the Bay of Lübeck this year. A Vestas 2 MW V80 turbine will be used. The consortium of management services company Arcadis, project developer Gesellschaft für Handel und Finanz (GHF)/Ventotec, turbine supplier Vestas and the Deutsche Bank -- has now completed all engineering tests on the floating foundation design and will utilise a construction permit for the prototype granted in November. "We can produce a foundation for use in water depths exceeding 25 metres at significantly lower cost than conventional systems," claims Helmer Stecker, managing director of GHF's wind energy division. "The ready-to-operate plant including foundation can be completed at the port, substantially reducing construction time. The offshore plant can be towed to shore within one day for repairs, even under sea conditions with waves of more than three metres," he adds. The consortium hopes that once tests are complete, construction of its planned -- but not yet authorised -- 600 MW Ventotec Ost 2 wind plant in the Baltic Sea can begin in 2005 or 2006.