Swiss buy into 288MW Butendiek

Swiss utility Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich (EWZ) has acquired a stake in the 288MW Butendiek wind farm off the German North Sea coast, German wind developer Wpd says.

Wpd did not disclose the size of EWZ’s stake in the €1.3bn ($1.77bn) project some 32km west of the island of Sylt is. But EWZ said it is buying 49% of Wpd’s 10% participation in the Butendiek project company.

Butendiek’s project company is financing a third of the project’s overall costs, while a consortium of banks is financing the remainder via senior debt.

“The EWZ participation is a further favourable signal for the offshore wind sector in Germany,” says Wpd chief executive Gernot Blanke.

“We are glad that EWZ shall contribute its know-how as energy supplier and we regard this commitment as a further step in the successful implementation of the Wpd project.”

Work in the offshore construction site is slated to begin in March, with the first of 80 Siemens 3.6-120 turbines due to be installed and taken into operation successively from the autumn of 2014 onwards. Completion of the works is planned for the summer of 2015.

Monopile foundations will come from Ballast Nedam, the internal wind farm cabling from Visser & Smit Marine Contracting, and the transformer substation from Fabricom/GDF Suez, Wpd said. The wind park will be connected to the mainland via the SylWin converter platform.