Germany opens first Baltic offshore wind farm

German energy business Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) has officially opened the first commercial wind farm off the country's Baltic coast yesterday (May 2).

The 21 wind turbine park will produce enough electricity for 50,000 households once it is fully operational later this year.

The site was opened by German chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, in the presence of numerous representatives from business and politics.

The symbolic foundation stone for the Baltic One project was laid in spring 2010, today, almost three years after the start, there are 21 wind power turbines of the height of church towers and the around 1,000 tonne substation platform, located 16 kilometres from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern coastline in the Baltic Sea.

Each turbine has an installed power of 2.3 megawatts; together they achieve 48.3 megawatts and can produce up to 185 gigawatts of electricity, or enough for 50,000 households.

The electricity produced in the EnBW Baltic 1 windfarm is transformed to the transfer voltage of 150 kilovolts on the substation platform and then transported to the coast through an around 60 kilometre long marine cable.

EnBW chairman, Hans Peter Vills, said: “We accepted this huge technical and logistical challenge and have successfully mastered it.

“I hereby thank our employees, our industrial partners and all authorities involved with the project.

“We will be able to use the mutual experiences we have gathered in this project in our next, and six times larger, project EnBW Baltic Two.

“The orders have been allocated, the planning is underway and the beginning of construction is forecast for next year.”

EnBW is aiming to, before 2020, create a total of 3,000 megawatts of new renewable energy – this would mean doubling its current capacities and would require around 8 billion Euros in investments.

Luke Walsh

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