Offshore Wind In Baltic Sea Pushes Ahead

Wind-power giant Iberdrola is in the process of installing an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, but it’s a long process. Before the heavy lifting begins, there’s some bureaucratic hammering to do: The company has applied for permits from German officials for the 400-megawatt (MW) Wikinger project planned for five miles off Germany’s north coast.

Iberdrola acquired 100 percent of the construction rights to the offshore complex in March 2010. At the time, plans were already in place to install floating wind turbines. After analysis of the project site, the company decided instead to use large turbines that anchor directly to the sea floor. The plan better matches specific conditions of the Baltic Sea, according to the company.

Image via Principle Power

Once the permits are issued, the company plans to present the final plans for its offshore project in early 2014. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in 2015 and the wind farm will be generating electricity onto the grid in 2016.

Iberdrola has more than 13,000 MW of installed wind power across 23 countries. Additional projects the company is working on include East Anglia Array in the UK, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, with 7,200 MW of capacity. Wind projects off the coast of France producing between 1,000 and 1,500 MW are also in the works.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.