Powerful gusts sweep through the Kaufungen Forest: at 600 m above sea level the trees here face the full force of the wind. While they may not welcome it, their new neighbours certainly do, because this range of hills to the south-east of the city of Kassel has since last year been home to ten brand-new wind turbines. The 30-megawatt Hausfirste wind farm to which they belong was developed by ENTEGA Regenerativ GmbH, a subsidiary of ENTEGA AG, with the aid of a 60.5 million euro loan arranged through Helaba. A major project by any measure, it was completed remarkably quickly.
Proper preparation makes all the difference
Constructing a wind farm is rather like putting a jigsaw together (a very challenging jigsaw with a mind-blowing number of pieces). Even starting the approval process set out in the German Federal Immission Control Act involves assembling a whole raft of different expert reports and assessments. "Nature conservation, biodiversity, groundwater and spoil protection, emissions – it's all in there," explains ENTEGA Project Manager Peter Gevers, who also co-manages the Hausfirste facility. "The conditions to be met were particularly tough because of our wind farm's location in a protected habitat area. We had to have amphibian exclusion fencing installed by Kaufungen Forest Park staff for the whole of the construction phase, for example, with daily checks by the environmental monitoring team. This was necessary to keep roaming amphibians safe from construction traffic." The differences in altitude across the site posed a particular challenge and greatly complicated the necessary groundworks.