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08/07/2012

Construction Commences on German Offshore Wind Farm Meerwind Süd│Ost

Germany’s First Fully Financed Offshore Wind Farm

New York, Bremerhaven – August, 7, 2012  -- WindMW GmbH (“WindMW”), a joint-venture of Blackstone and Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH, today announces the start of offshore construction on its 288 MW Offshore Wind Farm, Meerwind Süd │Ost. 

Meerwind is an 80 turbine, 288 Megawatt (MW) wind farm that is being constructed approximately 50 km off the German coast in the North Sea. Once finished, Meerwind will produce clean power to service approximately 360,000 households and will help Germany eliminate approximately one million tons of carbon emissions per year.

Jens Assheuer, CEO of WindMW said: “We are pleased to commence construction on this exciting project and we thank our suppliers and their hardworking teams for adhering to the highest quality standards and for helping ensure that this project stayed on schedule. There is much work still to be done during the offshore installation but we are on track to begin delivering clean power to the public grid next year."

Since August 2011, when Meerwind became the first German offshore wind farm to complete its financing as part of the innovative KfW offshore wind program, WindMW has been working closely with suppliers to prepare for the construction phase.  AMBAU, as contractor for the foundation, has been manufacturing monopiles at their facilities in Cuxhaven and Bremen. Once completed, the construction of various vessels and materials will have employed approximately 2,500 people in Germany and the offshore construction phase will have employed more than 600 people through Siemens, Seajacks, Seaway Heavy Lift, and WindMW.

The first stage of offshore construction is the preparation of the seabed, carried out by Boskalis on behalf of Seajacks. Seajacks is then scheduled to install the 80 monopile foundations with the newly built jackup vessel “Zaratan” in September of this year. Following the installation of the monopiles, scour protection will be placed around the foundations.  Finally, in early 2013, Siemens and Seajacks will install and commission the 80 WTGs (SWT-3.6-120) with a capacity of 3.6 MW and a rotor diameter of 120 meters each.   

While all dates are subject to change due to weather, the project is on track for a full commissioning in 2013.

The Offshore Wind Farm Meerwind Süd │Ost will be located about 23 kilometers northwest of the island Helgoland in the German North sea. The Wind Turbines will be installed over an area of 42 square kilometers and at water depths from 22 to 26 meters. All turbines will be connected to a transformer platform to which the grid connection will be installed.

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