Butendiek faces 'green' lawsuit

German conservationist group NABU has filed a law suit against the 288MW Butendiek offshore wind project that is being built in the North Sea by developer Wpd 32km west of the island of Sylt.

NABU, one of the country’s foremost green groups with 520,000 members, has filed the suit at an administrative court in Cologne against the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the federal agency for nature conservation, and not against the park’s developers.

The group argues a permit for Butendiek should never have been granted as it lies in an area of natural and bird protection.

NABU says mammals such as the endangered harbour porpoise and rare birds could permanently lose their habitat because of the wind park.

Wpd press official Tobias Engelken told Recharge as the lawsuit is directed against German authorities and not Wpd, the company isn’t involved in it yet.

“As the permit for the offshore wind park Butendiek is valid, we continue to work on the implementation of the project,” he said.

NABU argues a negative impact on protected species in the area according to a recent study it commissioned can’t be excluded due to a lack of scientific research, and accuses authorities to have ignored critical statements, and calls the law suit a last possibility to “avoid an ecological disaster” in two nature protection areas.

The group adds it is in favour of Germany’s Energiewende, and also thinks offshore wind energy is necessary, but says errors were made in the planning of Butendiek.