The project, once built, will see 80 turbines delivering 240 – 300MW and sited in 18-20m of water.

The development, in which Aitricity will take control of the financing, construction and operation of the consented wind farm, is subject to the approval of the Butendiek shareholders.

If the terms are agreed, development of the site will begin immediately with the farm due to begin generation by the end of 2009 The site was initially developed as a community funded offshore wind farm with a high number of shareholders living in the local area and the original Butendiek group of investors will hold an option to buy 50% of the wind farm once commissioned.

The move follows the recent announcement that Airtricity has been awarded site exclusivity on its West Rijn offshore wind farm site in the Netherlands, 40 km off the coast to the west of Scheveningen in the North Sea. The development marks a major step in the consents process for the farm.

With a potential capacity of 284MW, the proposed wind farm could contribute 4.7% to Dutch offshore wind targets of 6 GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2020.

Eddie O’Connor, Airtricity chief executive, commented: “This wind development will be an essential step in gaining experience for the major Supergrid project to come later.”

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