Wind energy in Germany – first commercial offshore wind farm in Baltic Sea

Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed the button to start up the 21 wind turbines at the Baltic 1 wind farm, 16 km offshore from the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula.

The operator of the wind farm, with an installed capacity of 50 MW, is the Karlsruhe-based utility Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg (EnBW) in what is Germany’s first purely commercial offshore wind energy project. A year ago, the offshore wind farm ‘Alpha Ventus’ consisting of 12 wind turbines was started up in the North Sea in a test project underwritten by the German government. EnBW says the Baltic 1 wind farm can cover the electricity needs of 50 000 households.

The company is now moving towards building a second Baltic Sea wind farm of 80 wind turbines offshore from the island of Ruegen. The wind farm is to be started up in 2013 and would cover the electricity needs of 340,000 households. EnBW executives put the investment cost of the two offshore wind power projects at EUR1.2bn.

The German federal office for marine shipping BSH in Rostock said that so far, permission has been granted for 23 offshore wind farms in the North Sea with a total installed capacity of 7,650 MW and three in the Baltic Sea with total capacity of 1040 MW. At the same time, the BSH has received applications for a further 56 North Sea wind farms and 15 in the Baltic Sea.