NABU objects to Gennaker

In: Windfarms
A German non-governmental conservation organisation, Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU), has filed an objection to the building permit for the Gennaker offshore wind farm in the coastal waters of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The organisation claims that it fears 'massive environmental damage' for migratory and resting birds.

“Unfortunately, Gennaker reveals the total failure of the regional wind power planning. Despite massive conservation concerns and a lack of grid connection, the wind farm was approved. It would cut off one of the most important bird migration lines in the southern Baltic Sea. With poorly planned plants like this, we risk the social acceptance of wind power,”
said NABU President Jörg-Andreas Krüger.

In 2015, NABU rejected the priority area of ​​wind energy defined by the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, claiming it was unsuitable. The organisation states that the area is in the immediate vicinity of several fauna-flora-habitat (FFH) and bird protection areas, including the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park. Rare porpoises live here and, according to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, it is one of the most important concentration points for bird migration in the entire Baltic Sea.

“There is hardly a more unsuitable place for a wind farm. The Rügen-Schonen line is the central flight corridor for millions of migratory and resting birds, including cranes, mourning and iron ducks and countless songbirds. The expected number of collisions and loss of habitat are not compatible with nature and species protection law. The approval is illegal,”
criticizes Stefan Schwill, state chairman of NABU Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. "Already in the spatial planning process of the Baltic 1 wind farm in the immediate vicinity of gennakers, it was found that it would not be possible to add additional plants in an environmentally friendly manner."

In its statement, NABU criticised shortcomings in the approval claiming that it includes incomplete procedural documents. The organisation stated while current studies show that seabirds avoid wind turbines with a radius of over ten kilometres, the Gennaker planners expect only two kilometres. NABU stated that this massively underestimates the loss of habitat in two EU bird protection areas.

Gennaker permit covers construction and operation of the 103 turbines and was granted in May 2019 by the State Office for Agriculture and Environment Vorpommern. It covers the installation of a wind farm with a total rated output of 824 MW and a boosted capacity of 865.2 MW. This includes internal cable-laying, and the construction of two substation platforms. Gennaker, to be located close to EnBW Baltic 1 is being developed by OWP Gennaker GmbH, a subsidiary of wpd. The company has scheduled full commissioning for the wind farm in 2022, when the project was announced in 2016.

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