May 2, 2011 / 7:36 PM / in 8 years

Germany launches 1st Baltic Sea offshore wind park

People look at the off-shore windpark at the Baltic Sea in Zingst, May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany on Monday launched its first commercial-size wind power park in the Baltic Sea, adding to some small existing capacity in the North Sea, operator EnBW said.

The 48.3 megawatt unit called Baltic 1, which is some 16 kilometers north of the Darss/Zingst peninsula, has started feeding power into the national grid, the utility said.

Baltic 1, which took three years to build and can supply 50,000 households with electricity, is the forerunner of three more wind power parks in the North and Baltic Seas planned by EnBW with a total capacity of 1,200 MW as part of the firm’s renewable energy push.

Construction of the next planned 288 MW Baltic Sea offshore unit called Baltic 2, formerly Kriegers Flak, will probably start next year, EnBW also said.

Engineering firm Siemens, which delivered the turbines, said the launch was “an important milestone toward Germany’s sustainable energy supply of the future.”

The Berlin government plans to have 10,000 MW of offshore wind power capacity installed by 2020 to boost production offshore, which delivers a third more power than onshore turbines as winds are higher speed and more intense at sea.

In 2009, Germany’s first North Sea wind capacity came on line, and the total last year stood at 168 MW, while total accumulated onshore capacity at the end of 2010 was 27,214 MW, according to industry figures.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Jane Baird

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