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Iberdrola Starts Engineering Phase of €1.6bn Wikinger Offshore Windfarm in Germany

IBERDROLA has announced it is commencing the detailed engineering phase of Wikinger, the company’s first offshore windfarm in Germany, with a view to starting operations on the €1.6billon project by 2016.

UK based engineers, project managers and technicians from IBERDROLA’s Offshore Business Division, based in Glasgow and London will have a crucial role in the delivery of the project. In total, IBERDROLA is planning 11,000 MW of offshore wind capacity across Europe, including the United Kingdom and France.

The €1.6billon project announced today will enable the development and construction of up to eighty wind turbines, with a capacity of up to 400 MW, enough energy to power 350,000 homes. These will be located some 30 km off the coast of the German Island of Rügen, and will cover an area of 34 km2 in the Baltic Sea.

When complete it will become one of the world’s largest deep-water offshore projects (over 40 metres) with each turbine up to 150m in height, which is almost three times the height of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of ScottishPower Renewables and IBERDROLA’s Global Offshore Division, said:

“We are delighted that we can utilise and develop the expertise and experience of IBERDROLA employees based in the UK and apply this to other major renewable energy projects worldwide, including Germany. The Wikinger project will generate a large engineering footprint and supply chain that will create hundreds of highly-skilled new jobs, both here in the UK and in Germany.

Alongside the UK and France, Germany represents an important new market for the international expansion of IBERDROLA’s offshore wind business. We will have spent €50 million by the end of this year as we prepare for vital site investigations and detailed design work for this €1.6billion project.

At this crucial development stage, we worked constructively with the German authorities to ensure we have the right regulatory framework in place to enable essential grid connections to be delivered on time and to reduce the lead times for gaining planning permission and beginning construction. It is the clarity and speed of the process that has allowed us to commit to this kind of significant investment. We are now seeking further clarification on the tariff regime post-2017.”

IBERDROLA acquired the rights to develop this project from the joint venture formed by DEE Deutsche Erneuerbare Energien GmbH (Deutsche Bank Group) and Ventotec GmbH (GHF-Group). At the time, the project’s preliminary construction permit contemplated floating foundations.

However, after a study of the site’s technical conditions and taking into account the present stage of technological development, the company has decided to use larger scale wind turbines with regular (Jacket) foundations, better suited for the conditions in the Baltic Sea.

Once all permits are obtained, planned for early 2014, IBERDROLA will announce the final project timeline, with construction scheduled for 2015 and first energy export in 2016.

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