While developers in the U.S. celebrated financial closing for the 15-MW Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island—the would-be first offshore wind farm in the U.S.—Germany said this month that it expects to commission about 2 GW of new capacity in 2015, adding to its total of 1,048 MW at the end of 2014.

Though the country currently trails Denmark’s 1,271 MW of capacity, and both lag well behind the 4.6 GW of offshore wind in the U.K.—the world leader—German momentum appears to be increasing. It doubled its installed capacity last year and expects to do so again in 2015. The nation is aiming for 6.5 GW of total offshore wind by 2020.

Several notable German projects are expected to reach substantial completion this year.

  • Trianel’s Borkum West 2, a 200-MW project comprising 40 AREVA turbines, completed construction at the end of 2014 and was grid connected and generating power in February. Full operations are expected this spring.
  • Borkum Riffgrund, a 312-MW project in the North Sea backed by DONG Energy, also achieved grid connection in February. The farm consists of 78 Siemens turbines.
  • Amrumbank West, a 288-MW E.ON project, installed the first of 80 Siemens turbines in February and expects to begin operations this summer.
  • The first phase of the 400-MW Trianel Windpark Borkum will begin operation of its 40 AREVA turbines this spring, with the second 200-MW phase beginning construction.
  • Butendiek Offshore Windpark, another 288-MW project comprised of 80 Siemens turbines and developed by WPD, began delivering power with its first 24 turbines and expects to reach full operations later this year.
  • EnBW Baltic 2, another 288-MW, 80-turbine project, reached the halfway point in February.

Grid infrastructure is also expanding, with the 800-MW DolWin1 high-voltage direct current link scheduled for testing in April and full operations by July. Borkum Riffgrund and Borkum West 2 will deliver power via DolWin1. Dolwin2, a similar 900-MW link, will begin construction this summer and is expected to enter service in early 2016.

German offshore wind ambitions have had to be scaled back somewhat, with the previous target of 10 GW by 2020 being revised by changes to the country’s renewable energy laws in 2014. Still, observers expect the German market to grow more strongly than that of the U.K., which is expected to slow down in 2015 after years of breakneck growth that saw commissioning of successive largest-in-the-world projects, including the 630-MW London Array (a 2014 POWER Top Plant).

—Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).