German Windfarm Pushes Onto High Seas

The first offshore windfarm beyond national boundaries has received approval from German authorities.

BERLIN, Germany, DE, 2001-11-22 [SolarAccess.com] The project site is located outside the 12 mile territorial limit, but the Federal German Bureau for Sea Shipping & Hydrography says it approved the location in the North Sea, 45 km off the island of Borkum, in water 30 m deep. The German company, Prokon Nord, will invest US$140 million in the first phase of the project to erect 12 turbines in an area of 5.6 km2. Production is expected in 2003. The entire project to install 200 turbines will cost $1.5 billion and involve generating capacity of 1,000 MW, or more than a small nuclear reactor. Germany has become the world’s leading producer of wind energy and has been studying the effects of offshore windfarms on shipping and the environment before it allows large scale construction. Wind speeds at sea can be twice those on land, helping offset the higher costs of building offshore.

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