First offshore commercial wind farm goes online
Chancellor Angela Merkel will help unveil Germany’s first commercial offshore wind farm, Baltic 1, on Monday.
The chancellor, keen to bolster her clean energy credentials after the nation turned against her pro-nuclear policy in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, will help launch the 21 massive wind turbines standing in the Baltic Sea.
The turbines stand 16 kilometres off the coast near the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula. They are owned and operated by the large energy firm Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) and will produce nearly 50 megawatts of electricity – about enough to power 50,000 homes. The turbines are made by engineering giant Siemens, each with a rotor span of nearly 100 meters.
Baltic 1 is part of Germany’s push to build its green energy sector and part of a €3 billion investment by EnBW, which aims to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The firm is already planning a second Baltic Sea wind farm off the island of Rügen with 80 turbines. From 2013, wind power from this new farm will be delivering enough electricity for 340,000 homes. It will cost about €1.2 billion to build.
“The era of renewable energy has reached a new level,” said Jürgen Seidel, economy minister for the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to daily Die Welt.