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Iberdrola says it has begun the engineering phase of its first German offshore wind farm. The 1.6 billion euro project, called Wikinger, is expected to be operational by 2016.

In total, the company is planning 11 GW of offshore wind capacity across Europe, including in the U.K. and France.

Iberdrola says the Wikinger project will enable the development and construction of up to 80 wind turbines with a total capacity of up to 400 MW. The project will be located about 30 km off the coast of the German Island of Rugen, and will cover an area of 34 square kilometers in the Baltic Sea.

U.K.-based engineers, project managers and technicians from Iberdrola’s Offshore Business division, based in Glasgow and London, will play a crucial role in the project.

The company says it is working with German authorities to ensure it has 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.

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

However, after conducting a study of the site’s technical conditions and taking into account the present stage of technological development, the company decided to use larger-scale wind turbines with jacket foundations, which are better suited for the conditions in the Baltic Sea, Iberdrola explains.

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



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