Go for 288MW Sandbank offshore

Siemens' SWT-4.0-130 turbine will be used at Gemini

Siemens' 4MW turbine will be used at Sandbank

Swedish utility Vattenfall and Munich utility Stadtwerke München (SWM) have taken a final investment decision (FID) to build the 288MW Sandbank offshore wind park in the German North Sea at a total cost of about €1.2bn ($1.6bn).

Construction of the wind farm some 110km from the coast is planned to start next year. Sandbank will consist of 72 Siemens 4MW turbines and be connected to land via the SylWin1 grid link.

Vattenfall holds 51% an SWM 49% in the project company building the wind park.

The financial close for Sandbank is the first in Germany's offshore wind sector this year, following a period of policy uncertainty in the country.

The government in Berlin this summer pushed a reform of the country's Renewable Energies Act (EEG) through parliament that cut support for onshore wind and downsized Germany's offshore wind ambitions, but also extended the current offshore support system in great part until the end of the decade. The reform kicked in on 1 August.

Vattenfall and SWM both stressed the importance of the passage of the EEG reform.

"With the new EEG there are reliable framework conditions for investments in renewable energies in Germany again," SWM chief executive Florian Bieberbach said.

The FID also effectively ends an investment freeze SWM had imposed early last year for new investments in German renewable energy projects due to the political uncertainties surrounding RE support levels.

Note: Amended to correct earlier version that said Sandbank was first FID in German offshore wind since early 2013. Dong Energy's Gode Wind projects received FID in November last year.

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