July 26, 2005

German army opens sites for wind plant projects

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's army has started offering
two training locations to wind power plant developers in a
process that could eventually involve more than 250 sites
housing 750 megawatt of generation capacity, wind energy
association BWE said.

World wind power champion Germany is running out of
suitable production sites and the extra spaces unused by the
army could help supply power to 500,000 households each year.

Apart from offering new capacity, the sites could also help
test offshore equipment prior to its launch at sea, BWE
spokesman Matthias Hochstaetter told Reuters.

"The sites could also help test the visual appearance of
larger onshore turbines so as to ease acceptability for
repowering measures (where fewer but more efficient turbines
replace old ones)," he said.

An army unit called g.e.b.b. which outsources army services
to the private sector, on July 25 opened bidding for the two
sites in Lower Saxony state up until August 29.

The successful bidders would rent them for 25 years,
erecting and operating up to 12 wind power units, BWE and
g.e.b.b. said in a joint statement.

G.e.b.b. planned to study hundreds more unused sites for
suitability to wind projects and offer them successively via
trade publications and the internet, it said.

Germany last year had 16,630 MW of installed wind capacity
onshore, which supplied 4.2 percent of national electricity

Germany has approved, but not yet started building, eight
offshore wind parks, in a bid to catch up with rivals in the
young technology including Denmark and Britain.

Its wind industry employs 130,000 and relies on exports for
half of its sales, a share which it seeking to expand.

Repowering is carried out by companies including Enercon
and Repower .