The German Environmental Ministry has announced an agreement to install offshore wind generation capacity in the North Sea off the coast of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). The installation will consist of 12 windmills, each in the 5 Mwatt category, installed 45 km (28.1 miles) off of Borkum Island. The site will be called the Borkum West wind farm and expands Germany's foray into offshore power from the one test unit installed off of Brunnsbüttel in Schleswig-Holstein. The German government will contribute 50 million euros to subsidize technology to reduce the ecological impacts of the installation, as well as help finance studies to determine the scope and magnitude of potential impacts in the new offshore field. Partners in the undertaking include the energy companies RWE, E.ON Energy and Vattenfall Europe and the windmill manufacturers REpower und Multibrid. The energy companies have agreed to route the power cables to minimize impacts on the Wattenmeer National Park. The windmills, estimated to require 175 million euros investment, will be operational by 2008 at the latest. Thanks for the picture above, illustrating the beauty of windpower, to Grace Shanahan-Smith, from Southbourne, UK. The 11-year-old won the ManagEnergy Drawing and Photography competition in the category drawing. Good work Grace.