Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Construction of a wind farm in the German waters of the Baltic Sea, set to supply power for 400,000 homes, is ahead of schedule, the head company said.
German utility E.ON said Wednesday that construction of its Arkona wind farm is moving into its second phase a bit early, with the 60 foundations already set in place for their Siemens turbines.
The 60-turbine wind farm is set about 22 miles off the coast of Germany. Construction of the actual turbines is under way and the offshore infrastructure is set for cabling and connection to the substation.
The company deployed the 60 so-called monopiles in September. Foundations for a common substation were installed the month prior and the entire project could start generating energy for German consumers by next year.
Nine countries that share a border with the North Sea -- Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden -- agreed in 2016 to improve infrastructure to support offshore wind.
Germany leads among European nations in terms of offshore wind energy growth, though Great Britain has more offshore wind capacity installed. E.ON added it was also introducing new steel foundations for offshore wind farms that have a new coating that prevents corrosion and is therefore more environmentally friendly.
"Compared to conventionally generated electricity, Arkona saves up to 1.2 million tons of CO2 per year," the company added. "The investment amounts to $1.4 billion."
Germany has one of the greener economies in Europe and E.ON said it was retooling in the domestic landscape as the country emerges as a regional leader in renewable energy development.
The Arkona project is the result of a joint venture between E.ON and Norwegian energy company Statoil.