RWE Innogy has received the permit necessary to begin the construction of the Innogy Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm.
The wind farm site is located about 40 km north of the island of Juist in Germany and covers approximately 34 square km. The project, together with the Innogy Nordsee 2 and Innogy Nordsee 3 wind farms, will use 162 wind turbines, for a cumulative capacity of 1 GW.
RWE divided up the wind farm into three parts of roughly equal size, each of which will go through a separate consenting process. The permit granted by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency covers the first part of this area, where 54 wind turbines are planned. The permits for the two other phases – Innogy Nordsee 2, with 48 turbines, and Innogy Nordsee 3, with 60 turbines, are also expected shortly.
At the end of 2008, RWE Innogy acquired the rights for the Innogy Nordsee 1 project from developer ENOVA. The tendering process for the key components of the first development stage – such as turbines, foundations, cables and substation – began last fall and is still ongoing. The plans provide for the erection of 6 MW wind turbines on steel lattice foundations (jackets) at a water depth ranging between 26 and 34 meters.
"The final investment decision requires planning clarity for grid connection and assumption of liability risks," notes Hans Bunting, chief financial officer of RWE Innogy. "The working group established by the federal government to accelerate the offshore grid connections has come up with good and pragmatic proposals. These proposals should now be translated quickly into legislation so that the development of offshore wind power can continue quickly in Germany."
Subject to the grid connection issue and the final investment decisions, the start of construction for the first development stage is scheduled to begin in spring 2014. The total investment for all the stages is estimated to be around 3 billion euros.