The rough and tumble waters of the North Sea will soon be home to a 288 megawatt wind farm that will provide electricity to the city of Munich. The DanTysk wind farm will consist of giant wind turbines supplied by Siemens and spaced out over a 70-square-kilometer area about 70 kilometers (42 miles) west of the German island of Sylt. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and to wrap up by the start of 2014. Once complete, the 288-megawatt wind farm is expected to produce about 1,320 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually. That’s roughly enough electricity to meet the energy needs of 500,000 homes, assuming an average use of 2,500 kilowatt-hours per home. The wind farm will be used to power Munich’s subway and tram system, as well as supply renewable electricity to thousands of German households. The cost of the wind farm will be a bout $1.4 billion dollars. The wind farm will be built by the Swedish firm Vattenfall, which will hold a 51 percent interest in the farm, while the other 49 percent will be owned by the German utility company that services Munich. Vattenfall has already built the largest off shore wind farm off the coast of Kent, England. The U.S. and its utilities continue to lack the wherewithal to get into this game. The U.S. still does not have a sizable off shore wind farm presence, though the Cape Cod off shore farm will rectify that short fall in the future. It seems that the Europeans are far ahead in the development of sustainable offshore wind farms than we are at this time.
Photo: Kent, England Off Shore Wind Farm Photo Credit: Vattenfall