FRANKFURT Building work for Germany's first offshore wind power park, Alpha Ventus in the North Sea, will start within a week, the project developer said on Friday.
DOTI -- a joint venture owned in equal shares by utilities E.ON, Vattenfall Europe and EWE -- said the 180 million euro ($282.6 million) project got official permission to earlier this month.
"Having received the go-ahead, we will start with building work out at sea by the end of next week," a company spokesman said.
"We aim for power to flow to the market as soon as possible."
The wind park is also known as Borkum West and will be built some 45 km north of the island of Borkum near the Dutch border.
The spokesman declined to comment on a likely start date for power production but said it could possibly begin this year.
The wind park is partly sponsored by the government and is the first of some 30 projects planned for the seas around northern Germany.
Countries like Denmark and Britain have more advanced offshore wind industries but their turbines are not situated as far out at sea as Germany's planned projects which hope to benefit from stronger winds further out.
Once built, Alpha Ventus will be connected to the German power grid at Hagermarsch by a 70 km-long cable operated by E.ON.
Alpha Ventus will eventually comprise of 12 turbines of 5 megawatts each, enabling DOTI to supply the equivalent of 50,000 households with power.
Shipping company Norden Frisia AG has been contracted to supply the vessels and shuttle services needed to build it.
Offshore wind power is one of the core elements of the German government's push to double the level of renewable energies by 2020.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert)